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

09.30.19

Red Hat is Not the Company You Once Knew

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 4:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Coming soon: Red Hat Forum, sponsored (the most) by Microsoft

Red Hat Microsoft event

Summary: Red Hat in 2019 is very different from the company it was two and a half decades ago or even one decade ago

EARLIER this year we stressed that Red Hat considered Microsoft as a buyer and is nowadays running events with Microsoft, mostly funded by Microsoft. Red Hat also hired quite a few managers from Microsoft and it habitually promotes Microsoft .NET, Azure, MSVS and so on. This is beyond baffling to those of us who were led to believe Red Hat was our ‘flag bearer’. To be fair to Red Hat, however, its partnership with Microsoft goes 10 years back; it started with virtualisation. It has been progressing since — sometimes to the point of outright absurdity. We’re still trying to wrap our collective heads around the IBM takeover and what it will mean for Red Hat. We last mentioned this yesterday at around noon. Then, posted at 1AM on Sunday afternoon (1PM) was this hint that Red Hat had become more like IBM (not the other way around) when it comes to patent policy, much as we predicted.

“…Red Hat had become more like IBM (not the other way around) when it comes to patent policy, much as we predicted.”“In an exclusive interview,” IAM wrote, “Red Hat’s IP [sic] head reveals that in the run-up to its acquisition by IBM the company went shopping for patents at a range of sellers including AT&T, Huawei and Panasonic.” (behind paywall)

Well, the IAM paywall helps prevent their critics from scrutinising the text like we used to. They tend to spread many falsehoods and use intentionally-misleading terminology. But that’s not the point here; the point is that Red Hat is hungry for patents, including software patents, just like IBM. It’s no secret that systemd develops have also applied for (and received) patents. It’s also no secret that IBM is a patent bully and its shakedown/lawsuits against companies were reported (also by IAM) as recently as weeks ago. Zillow is among the latest targets.

“We alluded to some of these patents in passing in the more distant past.”Red Hat as a company (or unit) has no say on directions such as these; it’s rather worrying as more “Red Hat technologies” (e.g. stuff in Linux that only Red Hat actively develops) are patented. That includes systemd patents, which we know exist (at the very least based on the applicants’ names and assignee, Red Hat), but any patent on something inside systemd would not mention the software by name. We alluded to some of these patents in passing in the more distant past.

Over the past few days both good [1] and bad [2] things were said about systemd. Some have dubbed it “Open Source Proprietary Software” (OSPS) — a catchy phrase — and Laurent Bigonville responded to me some minutes ago to say: “If you look at the copyright claims in #systemd project, it gives me 9 lines for Red Hat et 4 lines for IBM, so much for an attempt to make it “proprietary”…” (there’s a screenshot there). Bigonville is always very defensive and protective of systemd.

“A few within the BSD crowd seem so gleeful about taking RMS down, and finding creative ways to rationalize it, because then their hero Bill Gates stays out of the public eye despite his actual association with Epstein.”
      –Techrights associate
Suffice to say, systemd does have its merits (see below), mostly technical merits, arguably at freedom’s expense (not to mention choice). What upset me personally earlier this month was seeing some senior Red Hat staff cheering the removal of Richard Stallman (RMS). Cui bono?

“Even (or especially) those tools that smugly applaud the removal of RMS based on behavior should especially object to the means by which he has been removed,” an associate of ours wrote this morning. “Ends never justify the means. When it comes down to it they are supporting online lynching.

“A few within the BSD crowd seem so gleeful about taking RMS down, and finding creative ways to rationalize it, because then their hero Bill Gates stays out of the public eye despite his actual association with Epstein. It is rather disgusting that they spend so much effort attacking RMS to cover for Bill. Again, when it comes down to it, they are supporting online lynching and trying to legitimize it.”

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. systemd is really well designed

    One of the things I think has generally worked well about “Linux” and the ecosystem on top of it has been the variety of userspace. There’s obviously some pointless things, but also some genuine innovation. It works well when upstream projects are structured in a way that they can be mixed and matched.

    For Fedora CoreOS we are combining two technologies; Ignition and rpm-ostree. Previously they were used independently (Ignition with a ChomeOS style A/B updater) and rpm-ostree with the traditional Fedora-and-derivatives setup of Kickstart for bare metal, and cloud-init for clouds.

    Putting the two together has been working well so far, but I’ve recently been working on support for root filesystem reprovisioning which is where the two projects intersect strongly. This has meant a lot of time writing code in the initramfs.

  2. Write a Letter to Redhat About systemd

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) incorporated systemd as their default and only init system in 2014. Soon after, perhaps with some persuasion from Red Hat and its allies, Debian adopted systemd as its default init system, and many Debian Derived distros, including all the Ubuntus, followed suit. Starting in 2014, this caused extensive protest from many in the Linux community, for reasons such as: [...]

    I’ll be glad to serve as a central information point for this letter writing campaign. If you find other contacts, please feel free to write to them and please email me with those contacts and contact information.

09.29.19

Large Corporations Can Definitely Work With Free/Libre Software But Total Domination Over Free/Libre Software is the Problem

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 7:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If they cannot control it, they will try to destroy it (and the people who made it)

Stallman needs new home

Summary: Typical and lousy corporate screed, along with corporate media, incites the public against Stallman (based on deliberate misrepresentation), potentially forcing him into temporary ‘homelessness’ (the above is a new Web page from Stallman) while corporations that incorporate GNU into their products rake in billions of dollars each month

HALF A DOZEN of us are still trying to figure out, mostly in IRC, who’s responsible for defacing Stallman’s site (it’s definitely a defacement based on a video link, as we noted in our previous post). It’s definitely not a joke and the goal is to make Stallman look bad. The goal is to embarrass him and cause maximal damage to his image.

We’ve seen a bunch of names mentioned. Generally speaking, it’s just the latest of a long series of events, which already caused Stallman to be removed from MIT (his ‘home’), then removed from FSF. He’s now looking for a place to live and it’s starting to resemble that long voyage of Julian Assange, who was demonised and defamed in the media for nearly a decade. He lived a frugal, repressed life in an embassy’s room.

“Generally speaking, it’s just the latest of a long series of events, which already caused Stallman to be removed from MIT (his ‘home’), then removed from FSF.”There seem to be powerful forces looking to ruin Stallman’s life, not just his work and his reputation. Some people blame Microsoft, others blame Red Hat/IBM (typically citing its short and controversial press release about diversity in the wake of Stallman’s resignation). It’s not pretty and many accusations are largely hypothetical and based on conjectures.

An associate of ours has meanwhile relayed this seemingly new (albeit undated) post from Steve Litt, who recently wrote some long rants about systemd (because it’s expanding to yet more corners if not centres of Linux). “Write a Letter to Redhat About systemd” is the title and it says this:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) incorporated systemd as their default and only init system in 2014. Soon after, perhaps with some persuasion from Red Hat and its allies, Debian adopted systemd as its default init system, and many Debian Derived distros, including all the Ubuntus, followed suit. Starting in 2014, this caused extensive protest from many in the Linux community, for reasons such as: [...]

I’ll be glad to serve as a central information point for this letter writing campaign. If you find other contacts, please feel free to write to them and please email me with those contacts and contact information.

For a number of years I personally chose not to comment/say much about systemd because I don’t understand it as well as some core developers. But seeing how large it has gotten, the fact it’s Microsoft-hosted and the fact it’s IBM-owned (proprietary software company that adores lock-in), I am increasingly worried about it. Corporations do not have feelings or ideology. They don’t care about UNIX principles, either. Corporations are run by very few people seeking to maximise short-term profits and Red Hat is no exception to the rule (only slightly different because of public image), more so under IBM. Frequent releases of systemd help leave rivals of Red Hat perpetually behind, always chasing Red Hat for bug fixes and never capable of offering the same levels of support and customisation. systemd is gradually devouring much of the system or codebase that’s not stale. I am also growingly suspicious of Red Hat because of the IBM agenda that’s inherited by ownership (I’ve been critical of IBM for about 5-7 years); it’s like they have an alliance of convenience with Microsoft and there's ample evidence. I’ve been watching these things closely for a very long time. Red Hat even considered/entertained Microsoft as a buyer. IBM betrayed “Linux” about a decade ago after it had done some good work, including ODF advocacy. Many of us will always remember their back room agreement with Microsoft around 2008 (it was about OOXML). We were all furious. They sold us out. Soon enough they also stopped contributing to OpenOffice and related projects.

“IBM betrayed “Linux” about a decade ago after it had done some good work, including ODF advocacy. Many of us will always remember their back room agreement with Microsoft around 2008 (it was about OOXML).”That’s not to say IBM is evil; we never said such a thing. Our main issue with IBM is its patent policy, which includes lobbying aggressively for software patents.

IBM is somehow left out from GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft). The same goes for Intel, Oracle and several other companies. Are they all foes of GNU/Linux? No. In our view, for reasons we explained before, Microsoft is the only company that stands to gain a lot from the destruction/failure of GNU/Linux, both in servers and desktops/appliances (the same cannot be said about Apple as its range of products/services is a lot more limited).

Amazon, for instance, isn’t a big concern to us, albeit it’s dangerous to Software Freedom, mostly because of ‘cloud’ loopholes, centralisation, surveillance and licensing matters that impact FOSS economics. Be wary of Mac Asay. “Asay [is] back,” one reader said this morning about this article. “However based on past posts, I haven’t read his full post this time.”

“…Microsoft is the only company that stands to gain a lot from the destruction/failure of GNU/Linux, both in servers and desktops/appliances (the same cannot be said about Apple as its range of products/services is a lot more limited).”Mac Asay has been against copyleft for quite some time now (he’s an Amazon AWS employee now, serving Bezos and by extension the CIA/US Army); opposition to ethics is very much expected from him. He has worked for a number of proprietary software companies in recent years and he had also applied for a job at Microsoft. He’s one of those people who attack Software Freedom while pretending to care about it. Writing about “open source” while promoting pure exploitation/abuse of it…

Going back to Red Hat, it habitually promotes .NET, sometimes Azure too. It took former Microsoft employees even into management ranks and OpenSource.com often posts pro-Microsoft nonsense. How about this latest post, “Microsoft open sourcing its C++ library, Cloudera’s open source data platform, new tools to remove leaked passwords on GitHub and combat ransomware, and more open source news”?

As we put it in our last Daily Links bundle, “”Microsoft open sourcing its C++ library” means proprietary software MSVS is “open” and “new tools to remove leaked passwords on GitHub and combat ransomware” means NSA PRISM is “security”…”

“Writing about “open source” while promoting pure exploitation/abuse of it…”We also included this new article, calling it “more Microsoft openwashing whose net goal is to sell Microsoft proprietary software for developers to become ‘serfs’ of Windows, Azure etc.”

This morning we saw “Chromium-based Microsoft Edge could hit Linux” and days ago we explained that nobody wants it or asked for it.

GNU/Linux is being changed. It’s being made more proprietary. One might say it’s being hijacked with help from the likes of the Linux Foundation.

09.28.19

The GNU/Linux Community Feels Increasingly Isolated, Homeless and Orphaned in a New Age of Corporate Takeovers

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat at 3:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft loves Linux, I don't think so

Summary: The corporate slogans and lies that are tossed about by corporate media remain as unconvincing as ever (no matter their repetition’s frequency); GNU/Linux is being raided

I HAVE BEEN USING GNU/Linux since I was a teenager. The last Windows version I had was Windows 98. When I ‘joined’ the ‘Linux’ community and developed software with GTK it was a job to me. The software was GPL-licensed. It was made available to all on my Web site and on SourceForge. 18 years later there’s hardly a SourceForge (it’s a shadow of its former self), a lot of Free software is controlled by Microsoft because it bought the largest Git repository, and as we noted in the previous post about the Linux Foundation (LF), Microsoft and IBM “Linux” is gradually becoming something else. The FSF is no longer RMS (albeit RMS insists he’s still in charge of the GNU project) and Torvalds doesn’t seem to be in charge of Linux.

“To put it simply if not bluntly, Linux is now owned and controlled by few large corporations.”What on Earth is going on? My job is still technical and some clients compel us to put code under a Microsoft site (GitHub). All their systems use systemd, which from a technical point of view appears to offer little or no advantage (except Red Hat IBM control over copyrights and development).

To put it simply if not bluntly, Linux is now owned and controlled by few large corporations. The fight to do the same to GNU is still ongoing. So what have we all worked and campaigned for? Is our work being ‘stolen’ by billionaires, who try to strip off or weaken the GPL?

We sure live in confusing times.

LF Kool-Aid is Unhealthy to Linux

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Kernel, Marketing, Microsoft, OSDL, Red Hat at 3:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Linux Foundation (LF) business model, which revolves around marketing and openwashing, is draining the life out of Linux

LF Kool-Aid

Summary: Lack of devotion to Linux, the very thing that the LF is named after, is putting the project at peril; Linux is meanwhile, under the auspices of the LF and Microsoft GitHub, becoming IBM™ systemd®

HESITATION to publish this article can be attributed solely to largely speculative remarks about how Linus Torvalds thinks and feels. He has not spoken to me for a long time, though I don’t choose to interpret that as snobbery. I just don’t think he’s free to say as much as he did in the past (we corresponded even before the Linux Foundation existed).

Some time earlier this month (depending on one’s subscription/paywall status) I saw a photograph of Torvalds at LWN. I don’t see many photographs of him anymore even though I read Linux news all day long; he keeps a relatively low profile and he doesn’t make many public appearances any longer. The ‘face of Linux’ has changed. So anyway, earlier this month LWN published an article with the following photograph of Torvalds, who is only in his forties. I don’t want to ‘creep up’ and talk about his personal life, but this made me wonder if Torvalds even leaves the house much (he says he works in a bathrobe; he apparently exercises at home only, or so I’m led to assume because there’s a treadmill there); he looks older than he is in this photo. He looks/seems to have aged faster in recent years. Readers can judge for themselves. This is 2019:

Linus Torvalds 2019

5 years ago (famous picture, mirrored for comparative purposes):

Linus Torvalds 2014

Read the comments in LWN. “Is that really a photo of Torvalds on the left? Jesus, he looks like he has aged like, 20 years since 2012,” says the first comment.

“He’s not wearing glasses, looks like a very different person without them” was the unconvincing first reply. I saw him without eyeglasses many times before.

The next comment said, “bad photograph, perhaps, i saw him in 2018, he looked much younger” and immediately after that: “Was that before he took the politeness training break?”

This refers to the famous incident we’ll come to in a moment.

Out of 8 comments in total only a single comment (the one by Paul McKenney) isn’t about that photograph of Torvalds (and what it says about aging). So people were certainly taken aback.

I personally have a lot of respect for Torvalds. He’s a geek and he’s a hard-working person. Very hard-working. He typically releases Linux and its release candidates on a Sunday, sometimes even late at night or whilst on holiday. That’s dedication. It’s a 30-year (nearly 30) devotion.

Torvalds is in it for Linux.

Zemlin is in it for the money.

Microsoft is in it for sabotage.

“Zemlin is in it for the money.”The Linux Foundation is a facilitator of corporations’ power (including Microsoft’s). It may have outlived its usefulness (long ago). There’s also the IBM factor, which can give room for concern. In the 1980s we had RMS, FSF and his GNU project/manifesto. The 1990s saw media shifting all attention to Torvalds, the ‘new wunderkind’ (child prodigy) on the scene. IBM was happy to boost him as a poster child after he had made a kernel that went well with GNU (he said Linux was nothing professional like GNU). In the 2000s GNU was already ignored; “What’s that,” people might respond. “Oh….. You mean Linux!”

In the 2010s Red Hat was propping up systemd after the ‘Pulseaudio experiment’. It was introduced initially as just an init system (process number one or zero); from “nothing professional like Linux” it’s quickly turning into a replacement to most of Linux. The 2020s, in IBM’s vision (now that it owns Red Hat), might be an IBM-controlled system with very frequent releases of systemd to keep the competition always behind, always chasing IBM.

The LF has had virtually nothing to say about technical aspects and competitive aspects of the above. Nothing. It’s too busy doing what it does best: outsourcing projects to Microsoft (GitHub, where systemd too is hosted).

“Torvalds might not be in real control of the project he started almost 3 decades ago. Maybe he should consider picking his trademark and relocating elsewhere, as he did back in 2007.”Maybe it’s time to begrudgingly reach the conclusion that LF became another OSDL. A lot of people don’t know or don’t remember it, but OSDL was disbanded after it had been mostly abandoned by key Linux people. This is a matter of suppressed public record. They hated the OSDL and thought it went all wrong. It used terms like “IP” to sell services (article by John Oates), it wanted its own ‘GitHub’ (article by Ingrid Marson), it wanted Microsoft Office, and it was generally getting close to Microsoft. Sounds familiar? To quote Slashdot: “Martin Taylor, Microsoft’s general manager of platform strategy, declined to comment on the specifics of what was discussed when he met with OSDL’s CEO Stuart Cohen, only to say that they met.”

Readers have long told us that Torvalds went sort of silent or at least quiet after serving some time in the ‘penalty box’ one year ago (due to a media lynch akin to that which ousted Richard Stallman; he’s being pressured to be more 'corporate' (a 'socially-engineered' Torvalds), never use strong words, or else risk ousting). Judging by the photo above (it’s public), he might not be all that happy either. Torvalds might not be in real control of the project he started almost 3 decades ago. Maybe he should consider picking his trademark and relocating elsewhere, as he did back in 2007. Jim Zemlin and his corporate friends can carry on running their PR agency under a different name. Maybe they’ll even be asked, belatedly, to pay their taxes (if the IRS reassesses their status). “Not under my name…”

09.24.19

The Corporate Linux Foundation as Agent of Microsoft and Other Serial GPL Violators

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Red Hat, VMware at 1:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As if the principal goal of this foundation or its entire purpose is to embellish and improve the image of those who attack Linux the most

Summary: The Linux Foundation does a disservice to those whom it claims to speak for and represent; unless of course the Linux Foundation is the trade group whose goal is to outsource Linux to the foes of Linux

IT’S NO SECRET that we do not trust the person who last year said (see video above) that “Open Source loves Microsoft,” which is an intentional lie (on par with “Microsoft loves Linux”). He, Jim Zemlin, had also said we need to “respect Microsoft” and he compared Microsoft to “a puppy” (the context being, Microsoft critics being the moral equivalent of people who violently assault baby dogs). Wow, you really aced it, Jim! You don’t even use Linux and you didn't really know about it until almost a decade after it had come out (and approximately 17 years after GNU!), so revisionist and highly distorted history can be understood, albeit not tolerated. You claim to represent Linux, but your actions conform to something else. The people who generally manage the brand (or trademark) “Linux” barely use Linux. Some never used it at all! The person who tells us “Linux” is so great (Zemlin) actually rejects it himself. This is the person who we’re led to assume will ‘guard’ Linux. A sobering reality check makes one wonder if he does exactly the opposite. The people entrusted to run Linux.com are also not full-time Linux users. What on Earth is going on?!

“The people entrusted to run Linux.com are also not full-time Linux users.”For 12 years we kept mostly quiet about it; we worried that speaking negatively about Zemlin et al would hurt Linux as a whole. But earlier this year we broke the silence, motivated in part by two ladies who had grown fed up with what they had seen. We were shown examples and started our research last winter. The deeper we look, the worse it gets. Then, back in April, all staff of Linux.com got fired. All except one, Swapnil, who typically wrote the paid-for (by sponsors) staged ‘interviews’. Commercials in article form…

“We sat down with Heather Kirksey VP, Community at LF Networking to deep dive into the advancement of networking technologies.”

“LF Networking (LFN) and the Corporate Linux Foundation have once again outsourced everything to Microsoft (GitHub).”So said Swapnil yesterday in his blog post. It’s an ad for LF Networking (LFN). Swapnil is now — as before — openwashing 5G with help from the Corporate Linux Foundation (of course 5G is very proprietary and also a patent trap). This is just their business model; as a marketing front…

LF Networking (LFN) and the Corporate Linux Foundation have once again outsourced everything to Microsoft (GitHub). In their own words from the official statement:

LF Networking (LFN) and the GSMA today announced that the Common NFVi Telco Taskforce (CNTT) has reached its first major milestone with the publication of its initial common Reference Model and first Reference Architecture. Jointly hosted by the GSMA and the Linux Foundation, CNTT operates as an open committee responsible for creating and documenting an industry-aligned Common NFVI Framework.

“This initial release represents the first tangible output of CNTT,” said Heather Kirksey, vice president, Community and Ecosystem Development, the Linux Foundation. “In the short time since ONS North America, the community has already reached milestones around creation of the Reference Model and first Reference Architecture. We have also initiated significant discussion around Reference Implementation along with commencement of enhancements to OVP within OPNFV. I am very pleased to see the focused delivery of this group and our ability to align the industry and accelerate innovation, especially in the advance of 5G. It’s incredible to witness such deep collaboration and integration among operators and vendors from across the globe.”

“The speed with which this group has been established and produced its first tangible results are testament to the close cooperation and collaboration of its industry members,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “A common framework and approach will accelerate adoption and deployment in the 5G era and we look forward to aligning further with our partners on this important project.”

It is a GitHub repository. So Microsoft controls it. Swapnil didn’t stop there. He then used Linux.com to prop up Dan Meyer from partner publishers of the same employer. Marketing as ‘news’ (their business model is just that). To quote: “The Linux Foundation’s LF Networking group and industry trade association GSMA unveiled the first data release for their Common NFVi Telco Taskforce (CNTT). This initial tranche includes a common reference model and the first reference architecture.”

“It is a GitHub repository. So Microsoft controls it.”And this project is — you’ve guessed it — controlled by Microsoft now. The Corporate Linux Foundation has meanwhile formed another surveillance group (awful members with spying agenda) and outsourced everything to Microsoft, as usual. In their own words: “Presto was developed at Facebook in 2012 as a high-performance distributed SQL query engine for large scale data analytics. Presto’s architecture allows users to query a variety of data sources such as Hadoop, S3, Alluxio, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Kafka, MongoDB and move at scale and speed. It solves the problem of having to choose between having fast analytics that use an expensive commercial solution or using a slow but “free” solution that require excessive hardware.”

What bothers us a great deal is that the Corporate Linux Foundation has outsourced everything to Microsoft yet again. It’s doing this all the time. As another site put it: “An SQL query engine developed by Facebook and moved earlier this year to a non-profit development group is now being hosted by the Linux Foundation.”

“What bothers us a great deal is that the Corporate Linux Foundation has outsourced everything to Microsoft yet again. It’s doing this all the time.”It is being used for surveillance. Here’s another one: “The open source Structured Query Language engine Presto is getting its own project within the Linux Foundation. [...] Presto was designed as an SQL query engine for performing interactive queries on data from sources such as Hadoop, S3, Alluxio, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Kafka and MongoDB. It’s capable of querying multiple data formats, no matter if it’s in a relational, NoSQL, proprietary or unstructured format. Data is queried where it’s stored, without needing to move it to a separate system first.”

And yes, of course Swapnil just had to promote that in his own site as well.

But wait, it get worse

Swapnil from the Corporate Linux Foundation does openwashing for Microsoft… yet again (he did this many times before). He literally refuses to see Microsoft as a rival. They pay him to attack GNU/Linux, so why worry?

“Go work for Microsoft,” I told him. “So at least more people know whose agenda you really serve…”

His Microsoft openwashing came in multiple parts on Monday [1, 2] and he then sucked up to Microsoft, which reciprocates with links to his site.

“Swapnil from the Corporate Linux Foundation does openwashing for Microsoft… yet again (he did this many times before).”There was some more openwashing for VMware on the same day, in multiple parts (sponsored by the Corporate Linux Foundation, which is paid by VMware to do this PR stunt); he just can’t help himself, as if the only way to make a living is by lying for these corporations. GPL violators; serial violators…

Quite frankly, this isn’t even the exception in Swapnil’s site, which is nowadays promoting Amazon’s listening devices (not for the first time). Earlier today it wrote about surveillance coming to nature/parks too. Microphones, listening devices and tracking by wireless signals. Marketed to us as “smart cities” and marketed to us by Swapnil’s site (Corporate Linux Foundation). We’ve seen similar openwashing and surveillance propaganda — some of it for listening devices — from Zemlin or the Corporate Linux Foundation. This is their vision of our future. These people of the Corporate Linux Foundation are toxic. This is the kind of vision of the world the sole Linux.com editor has. Listening devices, openwashing and surveillance; lots of propaganda towards those ends. Mass conditioning and indoctrination help weaken resistance.

“Listening devices, openwashing and surveillance; lots of propaganda towards those ends.”The Corporate Linux Foundation is drowning itself (and us) in a swamp of buzzwords and other nonsense. Connor Jones and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols ‘report’ (puff pieces) on LF Edge this week [1, 2]. “According to Arpit Joshipura,” one article says, “edge computing will overtake cloud computing by 2025.”

Buzzwords’ battles.

As one person put it: “Is the Linux Foundation where failing projects go to die? That’s sad.”

And one reply said, “yeah indeed linux foundation has gone downhill.”

“It’s also killing Linux,” I responded, “feeding it as lunch to hostile corporations…”

“The Corporate Linux Foundation is drowning itself (and us) in a swamp of buzzwords and other nonsense.”Check out today’s article from Decrypt. To quote: “The internet-of-things cryptocurrency IOTA, and the Linux Foundation, the team behind the developer-friendly operating system, have joined forces, according to a blog post. Combined, they will work to integrate IOTA into LF Edge, Linux’s platform for edge computing. Edge computing is tech’s latest buzzword. The sales pitch is that cloud computing relies on centralized storage in big data warehouses, owned by Amazon, IBM and other blue chip giants. The issue, apparently, is that these data warehouses are often far away from the customers who use them. Edge computing however, promises to use computing power at the ‘edges’ of the network—physically much closer to customers—offering a host of benefits including reduced latency time and less bandwidth.”

In this particular case the Corporate Linux Foundation is acting/serving as little but a marketing agency. Not only in this case (it’s licensing the “Linux” brand for PR); they’re just outsourcing things to Microsoft via GitHub…

Notice how all/most of the above announcements come from KubeCon. Who runs it?

Let’s see…

It turns out that the Linux Foundation isn’t liked even by Microsoft (which ‘bought’ it). As one of them put it: “Wow didn’t realize sponsoring Kubecon Shanghai was the amount of sending a kid to an ivy league… Those pay-for-play keynotes sure don’t come cheap [] I’d much rather sponsor the open source firmware conference, no pay-for-play. All community. All people helping one another. And a hackathon. The Linux foundation events, on the other hand, just scream disingenuous. [] “my kid couldn’t get into college based off their own merit so I paid for them to be accepted” “my project couldn’t get a keynote on it’s own merit, so I paid for one”…”

There’s a screenshot there too, from the brochure.

“In this particular case the Corporate Linux Foundation is acting/serving as little but a marketing agency.”More people now realise that this thing called “Linux Foundation” is a scam that sells keynotes, tweets, "thank yous" and so on.

“Got feeling that kubecon is hijacked by big sponsors to move their agenda,” one person has just remarked. Jim Zemlin and his ‘nonprofit’ are profiting big time (about $100,000,000 per annum) from this attack on Free software (which they help companies raid and privatise). As one senior Red Hat employee has just put it: “So the #OpenCore summit, where Open Core companies complain about Cloud providers using their code but not paying or giving back enough, has AWS as platinum sponsor.”

There’s a screenshot there as well.

People are at least beginning to pay closer attention to these things. Red Hat would be rather hypocritical to say the above given its practices with trademarks, systemd etc.

We’ve noticed a sharp increase in site traffic lately, marking perhaps growing interest in these issues we’ve been covering for many years. The departure of Stallman is another wake-up call.

As one reader put it in an E-mail message, “I want to give them a chance to do us right, but after the farce that took him down, of course — and before we even get to the “diversity” angle, because this statement still holds true if we only talk about the white males that apply…”

“People are at least beginning to pay closer attention to these things.”“The biggest tragedy of the Stallman replacement process is going to be that its going to come down to a decision between someone who would devote their entire life to the role, and someone who would just treat it like a job. And there are too many people who would choose, even prefer, the person who would just treat it like a job. That’s what we are most likely to lose, apart from Stallman himself. And it’s a triumph of corporate cynicism if we do – a triumph of weak devotion over lifelong dedication.”

That’s a correct way to put it, too…

Several people from Red Hat and even Red Hat’s Web site played the “diversity” card against Stallman this past week. It’s like they don’t want someone to replace him based on devotion to Software Freedom but based on other criteria.

Microsoft, suffice to say, couldn’t be happier. Stallman’s last speech as FSF President was ironically enough at Microsoft.

Microsoft is already surging ahead with the E.E.E. offensive; earlier today we saw under the “Linux” RSS feed of the CBS tech tabloid, ZDNet, this article; yes, ZDNet has just shelved Visual Studio, which is proprietary software that doesn’t run on GNU/Linux, under the Linux feed. “Loves Linux” lies let them get away with it…

“Corporate takeover of Linux has entered ‘warp speed’ (or drive).”Phoronix has also just helped Microsoft’s openwashing of .NET (Open Core). It’s those same stunts again. Earlier today and earlier this week (for the second day in a row) Red Hat was pushing Microsoft .NET, only about a week after issuing a rather disturbing press release about Stallman.

Corporate takeover of Linux has entered ‘warp speed’ (or drive).

09.21.19

IBM Cannot Become a True Friend of Free Software Because of Its Current Patent Policy

Posted in Free/Libre Software, IBM, OIN, Patents, Red Hat at 1:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

To make peace with the Free software movement IBM may need to re-balance or re-calibrate its priorities

A balance

Summary: IBM needs to quit bullying people/companies with software patents; that would help towards appeasement of IBM critics and sceptics

AT risk of sounding like a broken record, let’s make a point absolutely clear and be upfront about it. Our Openwashing Reports have often mentioned IBM as an habitual faker and culprit; IBM is, at its core, still a proprietary software company, unlike Red Hat. But IBM is bad for two more reasons: 1) it lobbies for software patents and 2) it shakes down companies with such patents. When it comes to patent policy and practice, IBM is hardly better than Microsoft; it just targets GNU/Linux a lot less (if at all); it gave us OIN.

Techrights would rather not spend much time or dedicate much space to IBM criticism because it’s hardly the foremost threat to Software Freedom; it’s mostly a threat to a sane patent policy/law.”It seems safe to believe or to think many Red Hat employees already know what IBM is and does (IBM’s patent shakedown is decades-old). The rest are in denial about it or choose to say nothing, even among themselves. Henrion brought up a recent court document [PDF] and stated that “IBM is a software patent bully,” quoting from the corresponding document: “Method for presenting advertising in an interactive service, Method for simultaneous display of multiple object categories, Method for a runtime user account creation operation within a SSO process in a federated computing…”

We discussed this over IRC on Thursday. The IRC logs will unfortunately not be ready for publication until the end of this year (we used to publish these daily, then weekly, now it’s 3 times a year in large lumps).

Another person wrote: “IBM published today a patent application on “software controlled ad-avatars (or bots)” for advertising in virtual worlds. Relatable bot profiles include “Jenny Teen,” “Joe Geek,” and “Travis Cowboy.” US 20190287119.”

There’s also a picture there.

Techrights would rather not spend much time or dedicate much space to IBM criticism because it’s hardly the foremost threat to Software Freedom; it’s mostly a threat to a sane patent policy/law. We hope that Red Hat can influence IBM positively (rather than the other way around).

09.05.19

Richard Stallman Lectures Microsoft on Free Software and Software Freedom

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Google, GPL, Microsoft, Red Hat at 1:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A great Microsoft selloff or a chance/opportunity to turn Microsoft staff away from the anti-GPL agenda?

GPL/RMS

Summary: Richard Stallman (RMS) reportedly went to Microsoft to speak about Software Freedom; this seems to be part of Microsoft’s campaign to come across as ‘friends’ with FOSS (even whilst attacking it, both directly and indirectly)

THE technology tabloid of CBS says that “Free software advocate Richard Stallman spoke at Microsoft Research this week” and the article was composed by one of their full-time Microsoft boosters (some were literally Microsoft staff on Microsoft’s payroll!).

“Is Microsoft trying to pay off RMS? It doesn’t look like it, but his visit there can be distorted to say all sorts of bizarre things.”The Microsoft booster who controls Linux.com soon rewrote the headline and added his own interpretation as follows: “Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet reports that Microsoft invited free software legend Richard Stallman to speak at its Microsoft Research headquarters this week. Stallman, known for launching the Free Software Movement to develop the GNU operating system, was and still is a staunch Microsoft critic. Stallman delivered his standard talk around four freedoms.”

“[I]t doesn’t excuse developing proprietary software. A desire for profit is not wrong in itself, but it isn’t the sort of urgent overriding cause that could excuse mistreating others. Proprietary software divides the users and keeps them helpless, and that is wrong. Nobody should do that.”

Richard Stallman

Is Microsoft trying to pay off RMS? It doesn’t look like it (he’s not corruptible), but his visit there can be distorted to say all sorts of bizarre things. For example, one might claim that his visit ‘endorses’ Microsoft. This is the kind of spin one can expect to find on TFiR, where Swapnil’s partners are now promoting proprietary software for Microsoft (obviously!). It’s about exFAT, which isn’t about “Linux” but about Microsoft, all about Microsoft [1, 2]. It’s not even a Free software implementation of it but an old proprietary one with patent tax on it (Paragon’s). “The technology can be purchased as an SDK library that can be embedded in any application,” says the puff piece, soon to be followed by promotion of other proprietary software in spammy ‘articles’ (same author). What worries us is that Linux.com was put in these hands…

“Sadly, we’re seeing some certain betrayal of principles from all sorts of directions.”We’ve also just noticed more new evidence (post by Juozas Auskalnis) of Microsoft exercising control over Red Hat (using money). It’s all about money. At what cost? As one blogger put it this afternoon, “the worst case scenario is when one’s life depends on (especially when closed) source code that one has not written oneself.”

Sadly, we’re seeing some certain betrayal of principles from all sorts of directions. Google also. Early this morning we wrote about Google openwashing and privacywashing by outsourcing code to a proprietary software platform, GitHub. This brings hilarity to new heights. Obviously Google outsourced all the ‘open’ code (for ‘privacy’) to NSA PRISM and Microsoft [1]. Google pretends to care about privacy while fighting a war against it and letting the NSA’s back doors partner maintain the code. Corbet has just written about this [2].

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Enabling developers and organizations to use differential privacy

    Differentially-private data analysis is a principled approach that enables organizations to learn from the majority of their data while simultaneously ensuring that those results do not allow any individual’s data to be distinguished or re-identified. This type of analysis can be implemented in a wide variety of ways and for many different purposes. For example, if you are a health researcher, you may want to compare the average amount of time patients remain admitted across various hospitals in order to determine if there are differences in care. Differential privacy is a high-assurance, analytic means of ensuring that use cases like this are addressed in a privacy-preserving manner.

  2. Google’s differential privacy library

    Google has announced the release of a new library for applications using differential privacy techniques.

08.31.19

Linux is Not Free/Libre If DRM is Adopted and Open Source is Meaningless in the Age of Openwashing

Posted in Deception, DRM, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Kernel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Vista, Windows at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Welcome to ‘Linux Vista’ and Open-for-business Source (for some parts, for the openwashing factor)

HDCP

Summary: Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and (GNU/)Linux don’t quite change the world as much as they’re being changed by monopolies (software, hardware and entertainment) to suit their agenda and eliminate any remnants of freedom

WHEN we say that Software Freedom is under attack we mean exactly that. We’re under attack; our rights and our dignity are under a heavy assault. We’re gradually losing control of everything digital. We become enslaved by technology, which rather than emancipate people devolves into a tool of oppression and imprisonment. Surveillance is one among many aspects of this.

“We become enslaved by technology, which rather than emancipate people devolves into a tool of oppression and imprisonment.”The harms of DRM are well documented, as are the effects of the DMCA. In the distant past (Windows Vista era) Microsoft colluded with hardware companies to put DRM in Windows and nowadays Google does the same to Linux (having already done the same to the WWW along with Microsoft and Neflix for the most part). It’s the evil DRM, not Direct Rendering (same acronym), which is mostly benign. According to this new post from Phoronix, AMD is doing the 'Intel thing' (which has done that with Vista/Microsoft and ChromeOS/Google). First the back doors (ME), now this…

To quote:

AMD developers have sent out their latest open-source Linux patches doing their kernel driver share for enabling High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) support for version 1.4 and newer.

While seeing HDCP support patches for open-source graphics drivers does irritate many in the community, similar to other open-source drivers supporting HDCP, this is only one part of the content protection puzzle. These patches alone do not impose any restrictions on users or other impairments, but mainly comes down to such proprietary software wanting to make use of HDCP capabilities on Linux. Open-source video players and the like can continue to enjoy GPU-based video acceleration uninterrupted.

[...]

Intel’s open-source Linux graphics driver only began seeing HDCP work relatively recently when Google engineers were interested with the Intel support in the context of Chromebook support.

All the news sites are still busy writing puff pieces about exFAT (at this stage we just skip these repetitive articles); no attention has been paid (or will be paid) to the issue above — an issue we investigated by analysing the kernel some months ago.

“The harms of DRM are well documented, as are the effects of the DMCA.”Make no mistake about it; Google surely spreads Linux, but at the same time it changes it in troubling ways. Yesterday/earlier today opensource.com promoted Google’s openwashing of its surveillance code — a subject that we covered in our previous Openwashing Report or two. To quote:

Developers at search engine giant Google have been busy on the open source front lately. In the last two weeks, they’ve released two very different systems as open source.

The first of those is the speech engine for Live Transcribe, a speech recognition and transcription tool for Android, which “uses machine learning algorithms to turn audio into real-time captions” on mobile devices. Google’s announcement states it is making Live Transcribe open source to “let any developer deliver captions for long-form conversations.”

Google is using this for surveillance, but we’re supposed to be all cheerful and gleeful because “open!”

“Red Hat’s opensource.com (above) actively participates in openwashing and Red Hat as a whole seem to have hired too many people from Microsoft, including managers.”We’ll do another Openwashing Report later this weekend. It’s a growing problem. It’s telling us that “open source” has “won”; what they mean by “won”, however, is co-opted by proprietary frameworks such as AWS, Azure, various spying devices that are dubbed “smart” and even totally meaningless mumbo-jumbo like "serverless". Some of our readers keep insisting that it’s time for the FSF to fight back.

Red Hat’s opensource.com (above) actively participates in openwashing and Red Hat as a whole seem to have hired too many people from Microsoft, including managers. It nearly sold itself to Microsoft and it promoted an Azure thing just before the weekend (we mentioned this in our daily links and it's not the first time).

What is going on? Have we lost sight of the fact that some companies strive to destroy Software Freedom?

“How long before we can call it “exterminate” or “extinguish”?”opensource.com has just published this article from Karl Fogel and James Vasile (we assume one of them is from Microsoft, but the bio was left empty). Microsoft executives — i.e. those who attack Open Source more than anyone — now try to hijack the narrative around its competition (speaking ‘for’ what it’s attacking). See paragraph 4: “Now we have a chance to have this discussion in a more regular and complete way: Microsoft has asked us to do a series of blog posts about open source, and the request was essentially “help organizations get better at open source” (not a direct quote, but a reasonable summary). They were very clear about the series being independent; they did not want editorial control and specifically did not want to be involved in any pre-approval before we publish a post. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, just so there’s no doubt, that the views we express in the series may or may not be shared by Microsoft.”

So a site called opensource.com is now being composed by/for Microsoft. How long before we can call it “exterminate” or “extinguish”? When will Microsoft ‘own’ Linux as much as it ‘owns’ the Linux Foundation? The Foundation has just outsourced some more projects to GitHub, i.e. to Microsoft. We put links about that in our daily roundup.

We’re being told that FOSS “won”; actually, software monopolies have “won” (read: dominate) FOSS. Who’s in control?

« 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