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07.27.20

Calling ‘Bullshit’ on the ‘Hey Hi’ (AI) Marketing Hype

Posted in IBM, Marketing, Red Hat, Servers at 12:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Watson logo

AI mentions

Summary: IBM and Microsoft both rely on mindless hype to market poorly-performing products and services; when will they set aside buzzwords and focus on substance instead?

I have worked on so-called ‘Hey Hi’ (AI) code since I was a teenager. At first I developed a game engine. Later I develop computer vision classifiers, mostly for medical applications. We called it “machine vision” or “machine learning” at the time, not “Hey Hi” (AI being a much older term with very broad scope). I understand the technical limitations and all the superficial/artificial hype. I peer-reviewed academic papers at the highest level, assessing the application of the methods in a practical context. I’m not clueless about this. EPO President António Campinos loves talking about “AI”, but what does he know about it anyway? Nothing. The term “AI” is so vague and broad that nontechnical managers name-drop it all the time.

“The term “AI” is so vague and broad that nontechnical managers name-drop it all the time.”The new CEO of IBM (Arvind Krishna), in recent interviews that I saw of him, props up “clown computing” (servers/clusters) and “Hey Hi” (AI) quite a lot; there’s not sufficient substance. Remember which part of IBM he came from. Here’s one video where they speak to Mr. “cloud and cognitive software” (“cloud everywhere, AI anywhere”). Have a look, as it predates by months the appointment/promotion of Krishna to CEO role:

He mentions “Watson” in the context of “Cloud Private” and containers. “Watson everywhere” is their motto. Watson to “sell cloud”…

“IBM will need to do more than rebrand systems administration “DevOps” and various algorithms “AI”; the CEO is probably a lot more technical than the new President (Whitehurst), which is better known for institutional openwashing (“open org”).”Red Hat is mentioned a lot (this was after they announced they’d buy Red Hat, reportedly because Krishna had pushed in that direction).

They mention Microsoft and Azure a lot (even if Azure is an overhyped failure with ongoing layoffs). Seeing all this “cloud everywhere” and “Watson everywhere” buzzwords salad, I’m not particularly encouraged about the future direction, which may lack technical substance and put emphasis on soundbites, instead. At around 7:20 he mentions doctors and access to knowledge; well, perhaps he hasn’t caught up with reports such as these:

Watson hype

IBM will need a lot more than brands like “Watson” to succeed. “You gotta bring cloud technologies, you gotta bring AI technologies” (Krishna’s words at 10:40) isn’t enough. IBM will need to do more than rebrand systems administration “DevOps” and various algorithms “AI”; the CEO is probably a lot more technical than the new President (Whitehurst), which is better known for institutional openwashing (“open org”).

I generally hope that IBM will bring GNU/Linux to the mainstream not only at the back end but also the client side. IBM, irrespective of our views about it, is by far the biggest influencer in this space. It’ll have a lot to do with the future direction of both Linux and GNU, not to mention a bunch of other stuff that goes on top (e.g. containers, databases, and Web frameworks).

06.22.20

Linux Foundation Newsletter is Microsoft Windows and Proprietary IIS

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers at 3:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Only About 4.72% of the Web Uses It, But the Linux Foundation‘s People are on Microsoft’s Team and They Use Windows in Other Web Sites/Services, Even to Celebrate Sysadmin Day

Linux Foundation footer
There’s even more technical evidence to that effect

Summary: Another major fluke from the not-so-Linux Foundation, which now promotes a Windows site in the Linux Foundation’s Official Blog and in Linux.com as well (the Linux Foundation Newsletter… is Windows)

06.10.20

AWS is Not GNU/Linux and AWS Certification is a Bezos-Leaning Ploy That Rewards People for Memorising Proprietary Interfaces (Vendor Lock-in)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Servers at 7:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

BHO-DJT Side-by-Side: They don't agree on anything... Except spying on the whole world and their own citizens

Summary: Clown computing is a scam and a trap; in practice it means outsourcing one’s programs and data to computers one does not own, does not truly control, and everything is subjected to change (spying, billing, interfaces, features, patent aspects); we need to move away from centralised clowns (“The Cloud”)

THE fact that Amazon started making its own distros was overlooked or overshadowed somewhat because of the timing of the announcement. It coincided with the date the media was almost 90% “COVID COVID COVID”…

And nevertheless, for about a week following the announcement we’ve managed to fish about a dozen articles (also in Daily Links at that time).

Is Amazon a friend of GNU/Linux? No, not really.

“Is Amazon a friend of GNU/Linux? No, not really.”Amazon’s technical/practical contributions to the platform that makes Mr. Bezos so rich aren’t noteworthy. Linus Torvalds recently blasted one patch from their direction, using strong language to describe that “stupidity”…

Clown computing is generally a massive threat to Software Freedom; Richard Stallman foresaw this threat and drafted (A)GPLv3 (along with others who recognised the threat). When the mainstream/corporate media started rebranding servers and “SaaS” as something like “cloud” (few other terms were attempted, but they did not catch on) Stallman blasted the trend and dismissed it — even in the media — as mere hype.

And guess what… Stallman was right. He’s usually right. He wasn’t born yesterday and he had plenty of time to think about the intricacies; he also speaks to rather knowledgeable people about it (in person and over E-mail).

“Clown computing is generally a massive threat to Software Freedom; Richard Stallman foresaw this threat and drafted (A)GPLv3 (along with others who recognised the threat).”AWS is perhaps the biggest ‘collective’ datacentre with GNU/Linux; Wikileaks exposed some locations of the pertinent datacentres a couple of years ago. As of half a decade ago, Amazon’s AWS (or similar) datacentres were spread across about a dozen countries. Many are US-based, where military-funded lawmakers draft bills called “cloud” something and give special powers (including data access) to the US government/authorities (US Army included).

Having said that, my main issue with AWS isn’t lack of returns (very minimal). They contribute almost nothing to development; they’re known to be exploiting lots of Free software projects, grabbing support contracts away from people and firms that actually develop the software. There were several controversies to that effect in recent months and Amazon is sponsoring/supporting events that strive to make it mainstream and “normal”… as if exploitation is to be celebrated as “success” (it’s rather unethical).

“GNU/Linux on the other hand (like UNIX/POSIX) is modular, standard and universal.”But here’s the thing that’s even worse; many people nowadays pursue certifications named after buzzwords. Or brands. They basically spend a lot of time and money joining some corporate cult without even being salaried by the respective corporation/s. One example of this is AWS certification. Putting aside the dynamic nature of their interfaces (which I’ve seen and used for almost a decade at work), those are proprietary and certification means training — and moreover training for things that change over time and thus render the certification obsolete or outdated.

GNU/Linux on the other hand (like UNIX/POSIX) is modular, standard and universal. It hardly changes over time. The same GNU scripts you put together back in the 1980s probably still work today (the opposite isn’t true; it’s not likely that a program or script you write today would work with a 1980s GNU toolchain). So once a person acquires the skills, they’re portable and globally useful. One can even switch from GNU/Linux to BSDs without great difficulty; the adaptations may be minor and there’s plenty of documentation about it online (not without out-of-date GUI screenshots).

“An Amazon empire of virtual machines and containers is certainly helpful to Mr. Bezos. But is that what we want for ourselves?”The bottom line is, don’t be misled into thinking that all those “GAFAM” certifications are worth much; you invest a lot in merely making the likes of Mr. Bezos a lot richer. You reinforce lock-in if not monopoly (memorising GUIs). The same can be said about GitHub. And sending more money to Amazon (AWS bills) isn’t contributing to Software Freedom, even if all running instances are basically GNU/Linux images.

Sure, GNU/Linux is dominant (probably de facto standard in today’s servers), but if we strive to accomplish more than just branding (“Linux everywhere”), then let’s think ahead and consider what a world we wish to live in. An Amazon empire of virtual machines and containers is certainly helpful to Mr. Bezos. But is that what we want for ourselves? We don’t even mention Microsoft’s offering that starts with an “A” because it's an overhyped miserable failure (the media writes about it because Microsoft is paying). In my daily life, at work, I hardly come across anyone who uses the “A” thing of Microsoft; they’re grossly exaggerating their relevance — typical Microsoft marketing stunt.

06.09.20

[Humour] The False Choice Between Two Proprietary Software ‘Cloud’ Giants That Act as ‘Hosts’ (for Users as Hostages)

Posted in Deception, Servers at 4:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

False dichotomy or “lesser evilism” at work… with people cheering for brands rather than principles

Two Giants And Small Humans: The Clown, Another clown, clown computing enthusiasts

Summary: The clown computing nonsense is one among several key distractions from Software Freedom; we need to learn to mock the whole clown computing hype; for one thing, start by calling it “clown computing” and those who promote it “clowns”

06.06.20

The Faces of ‘The Cloud’ (Surveillance in Clown Computing/Clothing)

Posted in Google, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat, Servers at 7:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trump and Nadella
Return of the Financial returns for "JEDI"?

Pichai meets Ivanka Trump
Smile for the cameras and for the dictator’s kid

Bezos and MbS
The Crown Prince Cloud Clown King, Mr. Bezos

Arvind Krishna Wired Business Conference
Photo(s) Source: Arvind Krishna. A Condé Nast/Wired editor with Arvind Krishna (Condé Nast managed to oust Torvalds for over a month using shame and guilt and it repeatedly defamed Stallman as well — in several of its Web sites — until Stallman stepped down)

Summary: Consolidation of the world’s computers/servers and the stories told by photo ops; we’re particularly interested in IBM’s relationship with Condé Nast, which owns The New Yorker and Wired

05.17.20

With Microsoft Windows on Key Systems Many Hospitals Become Remotely Controlled and Nonoperational

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Servers, Windows at 9:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Should we start death clocks for Windows in hospitals, like we do for COVID-19?

Room in hospital
Can patients hang on while the workers reboot, reinstall and sometimes pay ransom?

Summary: Windows in hospitals literally kills people; the use of Windows costs many lives, even if the media doesn’t like to talk about it (or only talks about it in order to misplace the blame after high-profile calamities; many are being covered up, never to be reported to the public or even to patients)

OVER THE PAST month or so we’ve published a number of articles about the damage caused by Microsoft and by Windows inside hospitals, estimating the death toll to be worse than that of COVID-19 (but over a much longer period of time). There are some press articles about it, albeit many poorly-researched ones that misplace blame, and one more such article was added to our latest Daily Links. Almost every day there are ransomware incidents; thousands of Windows-running hospitals all around the world are impacted. Also small clinics are impacted. The damage is immeasurable and it’s typically easy to identify Windows as the culprit. How many pieces of software out there have back doors in them and NSA tools crafted for remote access — tools that are later leaked to the Internet?

“The idea is to shift attention away from Microsoft back doors and intimate connections between Bill Gates and high-profile pedophiles.”ZDNet and other Microsoft propaganda networks are trying to divert attention to mythical Linux “back doors”. They did it again last week. Facts don’t matter to these people; they also defamed Richard Stallman. The idea is to shift attention away from Microsoft back doors and intimate connections between Bill Gates and high-profile pedophiles.

We’re privileged to have heard and collected stories about what Windows did in (or to) hospitals. I too shared some of my experiences, to the degree I’m permitted.

“Miraculously,” one source once told us, “my clinic in the hospital seems to have been spared.”

“A number of screenshots were sent to us prove the allegations we heard and then studied.”The source told us that the whole hospital (pretty much) was nonoperational after Windows computers had been breached, impacting everything from the back end to the front end. People were dying and access to medical records was denied (except by the crackers, who got their own copies of those). It was a nightmare scenario, but who’s keeping count? When people die from COVID-19 there are all sorts of “Internet bodycounts/death clocks” (like this one), but nobody keeps track of people who die in a hospital and outside a hospital because of Windows back doors, failures, ransomware, expired licences and so on. Never mind the cost Microsoft imposes on clinics, denying investment in more important and life-saving things like respirators and ventilators (critical at this time).

A number of screenshots were sent to us prove the allegations we heard and then studied. We cannot share them here as they can help identity sources, places, nature of incident and so on. We’ll keep things as vague as necessary to protect sources.

As is widely known, Microsoft often works — and sells licences — through vendors and channels. They, in turn, promote and defend Microsoft. It’s like a religion. They’re told they’re part of a “family” albeit it’s more like a cult and they’ll never ever blame Microsoft.

“As is widely known, Microsoft often works — and sells licences — through vendors and channels.”The vendor in the particular hospital we learned about is “also a Microsoft tool,” we were told, “but nothing unusual has happened here, other than a very strange chat I had with an intruder…”

The screenshots show mouse movements and a conversation with a text editor. Remote desktop…

Just lovely…

Hallway in hospitalIt’s like having a hospital remotely controlled from another site…

Another country as well?

Just the hallmark of security — exactly what inspires confidence in your practitioner and practice. With all your medical data on it…

“It’s like having a hospital remotely controlled from another site…”“Despite that,” the source said, “our patients are being treated and we have all of their records on a local server and on paper.”

This is considered the exception. We learned from others that even medical records had become inaccessible. It’s close to impossible to operate without these.

“To get Internet,” we learned, “our IT guy routed the office subnets through one of the doctor’s private cable box. It’s painfully slow, the Microsoft mail server seems broken, and we can’t talk to other parts of the hospital.”

We’ve safely/securely kept copies of some evidence.

Feet in hospital

02.03.20

Microsoft “Azure” (or “Cloud”) Results Are Most Likely an Elaborate Fraud

Posted in Deception, Finance, Fraud, Microsoft, Servers at 6:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And it’s hardly shocking that Microsoft is reportedly shutting down some datacentres

Capone Commits the Crimes, Pays Slush Funds

Summary: Even Microsoft fans (who participate in Microsoft podcasts and censor Microsoft critics) aren’t buying the latest “sales figures for Azure”

THE criminals who run Microsoft apparently carry on with their long-running financial misconduct. Maybe they feel like they’re above the law. Maybe they feel shameless about it under the current president, who is himself known for con jobs and other things…

“Is he belatedly realising that Microsoft fakes Azure “success”?”The Microsoft propagandist and chief editor of the ‘defamation mill’ ZDNet (a tabloid of CBS that defames Free software people and whose editor is in bed with Microsoft, having fired Free software-centric writers) has just published “Dear Microsoft: It’s time to disclose some real sales figures for Azure” (it never does). We omit the link.

The opening paragraph says: “Microsoft delivered a blowout fiscal second quarter as its commercial cloud hit a $50 billion annual run rate, but in the end we know just as little about Azure sales as we did before. In other words, we know nothing about Azure sales so let’s put aside the breathless BS until Microsoft gives us some real data.”

We do know that most of it is GNU/Linux VMs. It’s not a business model but an entrapment strategy.

“Microsoft defrauds its shareholders by reclassifying everything “cloud” and pretending that it’s going great.”Is he belatedly realising that Microsoft fakes Azure “success”? Microsoft insiders spoke about this and a former one issued a complaint to the SEC. This is very serious stuff. Microsoft’s fictional market value may be based almost entire on a very major lie.

Microsoft defrauds its shareholders by reclassifying everything “cloud” and pretending that it’s going great. Details? No, thanks. That’s a secret. Ask again later.

It’s corporate cannibalism (competing against oneself or one’s old ‘products’). The people who promote this illusion are part of the fraud and one of them was arrested for pedophilia last year. All in all, be extremely sceptical of what Microsoft claims because even its biggest and loudest fans are now sceptical. Have they been so easily conned and co-opted into relaying lies which shareholders and sometimes pension funds are tied to?

“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Gates animation

11.01.19

Age of Digital Deception: Startpage, Mozilla and the Linux Foundation Are Enemies of Your Privacy

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Search, Servers at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

For the time being use Searx, available under the GNU Affero General Public Licence version 3

There’s Whitewashing, Greenwashing & now also Privacywashing
Reference: There’s Whitewashing, Greenwashing & now also Privacywashing

Privacywashing memeSummary: Mozilla’s biggest income source is still ‘surveillance capitalism’ (Google), the Linux Foundation is in the pockets of ‘surveillance capitalism’ (to ‘whiten’ the practice) and Startpage has been handed over to ‘surveillance capitalists’ (System1); the business model is leveraging personal data (secrets) to manipulate/oppress people

Mozilla’s privacy issues have long been documented here. Mozilla loves talking about privacy, but anyone who has paid close enough attention is aware of all those scandals and ‘accidents’ or ‘gaffes’ (i.e. times Mozilla got caught red-handed and then changed course). We covered similar privacy issues associated with DuckDuckGo and recently Startpage as well (System1 took it). What about “Linux”? Well, many are aware of the “scopes” scandal of Ubuntu/Canonical (we wrote about that too) and a few other things, e.g. Linspyware. The Linux world, not to be mistaken for GNU, does not guarantee privacy. It barely even speaks about the subject.

“The Linux world, not to be mistaken for GNU, does not guarantee privacy. It barely even speaks about the subject.”There are ‘fashionable’ buzzwords for spying, along with euphemisms like ‘telemetry’ or ‘data science’ (making these seem like some sort of scientific research project). But that’s not the subject of this post. Days ago we wrote about the Linux Foundation‘s participation in 'surveillance capitalism' businesses, which are also funding it as “members” (clients). So far this week we keep seeing lots of puff pieces and keep stock/track of it all at Tux Machines. This latest one from Packt Hub says that “the Linux Foundation introduced a new policy around the collection and usage of telemetry data.”

“This kind of openwashing merely serves to associate “Linux” with evil.”They mean ‘monetisation’ (exploitation and sale), as the Foundation itself puts it in the site. It’s ‘surveillance capitalism’; it’s a classic! That’s just surveillance being whitewashed by the Foundation and it is embarrassing to Linux. It disgraces the project’s name. This kind of openwashing merely serves to associate “Linux” with evil.

But here’s the most interesting new find.

“Thought you might be interested in this Reddit thread,” one reader told us. Here’s the gist, a System1 “Web Developer (Browser Developer)” job ad (we’ve made this local copy as the ad will vanish one day):

Just ran into this ad for a Web Developer (Browser Developer). Seems like System1, a pay-per-click ad company based in Venice, California, is aiming to take on Mozilla Firefox and maybe even Brave. Here’s an excerpt:

Have you ever build any of the most popular open-source browsers like Brave/Chromium/Firefox?

Would you be excited to the idea of setting up build pipelines for an open source browser?

System1 is hiring a Web Developer (back-end development) to join our team. This is a diverse role that will involve “hacking” on the Mozilla platform, mostly on the backend. You will work with experts who know the Mozilla platform inside-out, while being a key contributor to novel open-source products which already have a passionate and growing user base.

Key goals for this role: Keep a “classic” version of the browser up-to-date with security patches; update components where possible and create better compatibility with legacy add-ons for the newer version of the platform that supports them. Build system work is required for this role sometimes, but that’s one of the fun parts!

Yet one more artefact of the “privacy gold rush.” It’s happening. Eyes open.

The top comment says: “So, is this implying that you get an “up to date” browser in exchange for spying on you? I am working under the assumption that the search engine for this new wonder-browser will be Startpage with modifications to track the browser by some serialized ID embedded in it that is only readable by Startpage, so that only Startpage can identify you, yet they get to collect and sell your profile/personal information.”

“Mozilla’s dependence on selling your privacy is a matter of public record; they keep trying to distract from it by — just like GAFAM — constantly talking about how much they value your privacy.”Another says: “Did System1 invest in Mozilla or another company that already has these “experts” and a “growing user base”? We need to start asking all privacy services if they have new investors/owners and evaluate their trustworthiness. Now that privacy is popular with consumers, even behavioral ad tracking companies may want “in” on the money — if just to “privacy wash” or hedge their privacy invasive services. System1 has already invested in the Startpage privacy search engine, and it seems the Chairman of System1 has bought into some security products.”

There’s lots more in there (17 comments). Very interesting comments.

There might be a role there for Mozilla and others. As one person put it, “I wonder if they’re creating a new browser based on Mozilla? Could they be working with Mozilla or another company? It does refer to “products which already have a passionate and growing user base.” It also claims to have people who know Mozilla inside and out.

“The Linux Foundation now has several projects (at least 3) whose main role is openwashing surveillance at the datacentre. Great for the Linux brand, eh?”“I believe we have to start asking all privacy services if they have been sold or gotten new investors — especially ones that previously worked against privacy in fields like consumer behavioral ad tracking and targeting.”

Mozilla’s dependence on selling your privacy is a matter of public record; they keep trying to distract from it by — just like GAFAM — constantly talking about how much they value your privacy. They don’t actually manage to fool technical privacy proponents, who shoot back at them and shoot down the PR; seeing the above speculation, Mozilla’s Vice President hire from Facebook starts to make sense. Remember that Facebook itself keep talking about how much it values people’s privacy. If only…

The Linux Foundation now has several projects (at least 3) whose main role is openwashing surveillance at the datacentre. Great for the Linux brand, eh?

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