01.31.23

Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

Posted in Site News at 4:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum f0cc5572559292e2b2f632f5820524bc
Techrights Road Ahead
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active

THE recent exit from my job (where I had worked since my 20s) means that I now have far more time to spend here in Techrights. We have lots of exciting things planned and we predict that the site will still be around in 2033. If the Web perishes by then, we’ll have already adopted alternatives such as IPFS, Gemini etc.

The video above speaks of personal matters and site-related stuff. It’s more or less a continuation of this last post about Sirius 'Open Source'.

01.30.23

Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

Posted in Site News at 9:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Apple is fighting against powerful and fundamental economic forces. In the short term, Apple’s technological and industrial design prowess can help to prop up dying business models.”

Timothy Lee

Summary: I’ve reached a state of “closure” when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort

Today we published the last daily part of the Sirius ‘Open Source’ series (there will be more coming, there’s already stuff on the way, but not to be published on a daily basis). This series covers, explains and concludes my resignation from that dying company*. It also marks a turning point where I can devote all my time to personal software projects and writing projects. I have a lot of unpublished stories. It takes time to process and verify the facts. Accuracy is paramount. It’s the scientific way; we don’t tolerate “marketing”.

“At the moment Techrights is doing internal stuff, including server migrations.”The Microsoft GitHub series (Microsoft GitHub Exposé/”GitHub: Where everything comes to die”) will resume later this year. Some rumours about GitHub layoffs need verification. Remember that GitHub will one day shut down like CodePlex did. It is inevitable. Users of the platform don’t get to decide on when or how it happens. It’ll just happen. There’s no business model! Since 2018… only losses. Microsoft now tries to ‘monetise’ GitHub as a plagiarism blender. Will you buy monthly subscription for Microsoft to assist your blurred-away plagiarism? This is in court right now.

At the moment Techrights is doing internal stuff, including server migrations. We’re moving to Alpine. There’s also self-improvement work around processes. The goal is to increase our capacity and produce more output (Daily Links, articles, videos, analyses focusing on strategic areas), letting new programs do some of the work, offloading/automating some existing tasks and streamlining others.

“The last time I was not employed was the time I finished my Ph.D. (that in itself was like employment as I was a full-time postgraduate student).”Bear with us while we code some new programs. It may seem slow, but we’ve only just recovered from a sudden disk/storage failure and I’ve been speaking to people over the telephone about scandals we’re eager to expose in February. Curiously enough, some of our articles about Microsoft layoffs are going ‘viral’ weeks after they were originally published. It seems safe to say that Microsoft layoffs are (quite frankly as usual) a lot bigger than what the Microsoft PR depsrtment claims and we already see rumours about another wave of Microsoft layoffs (already in the planning).

The last time I was not employed was the time I finished my Ph.D. (that in itself was like employment as I was a full-time postgraduate student). At age 40 I finally managed to position myself to focus purely on this site and its community. Quite a few people in IRC have been there for nearly 15 years (our main channel turns 15 in a couple of months), so we sort of ‘grew up together’ on the Net. Speaking of the Net, tomorrow we change our home connection from copper to fibre. It’ll make things easier. There may be brief outages for Gemini (DNS changes).
______
* Sirius is dead company walking. It accelerated its demise by doing irrational things and mistreating staff.

01.13.23

35.5K Posts

Posted in Site News at 2:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Techrights 35.5K

Summary: This is post #35,499 in Techrights

01.08.23

The Original Sin: When the Employer Lies About Clients in Order to Justify a Fishing Expedition and Openly Start a Witch-hunt

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Law, Site News at 9:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

False pretences by a lying boss

Informing oneself: A matter that has been brought to my attention... By Myself!

Summary: The Sirius ‘Open Source’ CEO seems to be lying about clients, not just lying to clients; it’s used as an excuse for a witch-hunt against Sirius staff

TWO days ago we showed that the CEO asked to speak "urgently" with Rianne. A day before that we showed he had said the same to me, her husband. Same words, as shown here before (we shared a complete trail of correspondence).

He said there was a “matter that has been brought to my attention” and to paraphrase what he said to Rianne while he recorded her, a client complained about being mentioned by me. But who is this client that caused the CEO to see or envision an “urgent” need to “discuss a matter that has been brought to my attention?”

Who is it?

“We’re dealing with a big problem here.”It’s a client, he claimed, but he did not name anyone. Two weeks later he showed a supposed piece of evidence, but that did not match what we could verify. Hence, we believe he was lying on the call. He was trying to make up excuses for his proactive stalking. To Rianne he said something to the effect of, I want you to come to the meeting because someone brought this to my attention… and on the phone he insisted that the investigation was initiated because of an outsider. He was quite likely lying about that, basically manufacturing a set of false pretenses.

We’re dealing with a big problem here. We’ve been dealing with this kind of problem for a whole year. We have a pathological liar running the business based on a foundation of lies he cannot remember or keep up with.

After I saw who’s said to have been mentioned in IRC (only once and with a typo; it’s a famous person anyway — one who is known to millions of people and whose name is mentioned on the Internet every day) I decided to get in touch and fact-check the accuser.

“This was likely about an insecure CEO (without experience) trying to silence a dissenting voice of reason, who refused to lie to clients.”As readers are aware, the accuser was in deep denial over the LastPass breach (more on that later this month; we wrote a lot about it last month). He kept rejecting the idea LastPass was not secure. Even a year ago one colleague said to all peers in a “Handover to Shift 1 (16/07/21)” that “I’ve found that emailing stuff from Lastpass doesn’t actually work, so if he doesn’t receive the email then this might be the issue. Is sending via Lastpass any more secure than sending via our email?”

I wasn’t the only person antagonising LastPass. The technical staff didn’t like LastPass and didn’t trust it. But management did not care. LastPass is assumed to be right even when it’s lying. Same as Sirius management.

Anyway, after the LastPass breach was confirmed by LastPass itself (just before Christmas; this timing was chosen by LastPass and was intentional… to lessen the damage) I informed the person whom the accuser insinuated had complained.

Here’s my message to him:

Report of LastPass Breach, Your xxxxxxxxx Passwords Compromised

Hi xxxxxxxxxxxxxx,

Sorry for the bad timing, but LastPass intentionally reported this when people were away on holiday.

People have a moral responsibility to do what’s ethical and a duty or implicit obligation to properly inform clients so as to avert major disasters (like systems and Web sites getting hijacked/defaced over the holidays).

https://www.theverge.com/2022/12/22/23523322/lastpass-data-breach-cloud-encrypted-password-vault-hackers

https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2022/12/23/lastpass-password-vaults-stolen-by-hackers-change-your-master-password-now/

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2022/12/lastpass-says-hackers-have-obtained-vault-data-and-a-wealth-of-customer-info/

I’m writing to you as a Sirius veteran. I worked in the company for nearly 12 years. I know that your passwords (maybe private keys also) are in LastPass and LastPass got compromised. Now even LastPass itself admits it. In simple terms, this means hostile actors may now possess complete copies of access credentials and can in turn access your systems directly or indirectly, along with data etc. This poses a ransomware threat and can result in penalties for improper data protection.

I’ve personally warned about this for years (specifically LastPass). I brought up security breaches in LastPass, but I got threatened for my concerns. The company lacks basic understanding of security. To make matters worse, my warnings were used to push me out and Sirius did the same to my wife, who didn’t even say anything. It’s collective punishment for doing the moral thing.

You need to study what the LastPass breach means to you because Sirius put your sensitive data (keys/passwords) in LastPass.

Knowing the style of management at Sirius, I’m sure they’ll use some defamatory smears and ad hominem attacks/lies against me, but the simple fact is, you must change passwords and keys NOW.

I resigned from Sirius earlier this month; they still use LastPass and failed to respond each time I brought up the issue, including less than a month ago. There are many other issues inside the company, but they go well beyond the LastPass threat: http://techrights.org/wiki/Sirius_Open_Source

Sincerely,

Dr. Roy S. Schestowitz

Within a few hours he responded to my E-mail as follows:

Thanks very much Roy for the information. We had a very good working relationship with you and take the threat seriously. We wish you success in your future endeavours and we’ll be in touch. I wish you happy holidays and a very good new year!

Sent from xxxxxxxx
Regards, xxxxxxxx

So it was already obvious from his tone or the words that he did not complain about being mentioned.

So I went on and explained to him what had happened:

If you don’t mind me adding something, please see the attached.

This is from the letter xxxxxxxx sent to my wife months after in some very, very informal IRC channel (lots of typos, too) I had mentioned your good journalism though only after someone in the channel linked to one of your articles, not knowing that I was supporting xxxxxxxx. He has been my friend for over 15 years, but I never told him about clients. I kept that confidential.

xxxxxxxx insisted that I had mentioned a name of a client (you are very famous regardless if client or not) only when someone else (not me) linked to your work. He might want xxxxxxxx to think it’s done routinely, but you were the only such person I mentioned (and only once). There were only a handful of people in that IRC channel, all technical people.

He intimidated my wife, who had nothing to do with this, and insinuated that you contacted the company to complain because your name was mentioned. He gave only one such example, so we were simply left to assume you complained. In reality, we believe xxxxxxxx went on a fishing expedition, spending several weeks trying to frame me and when he saw your name (with a typo even!) he thought he found something to leverage in order to get rid of me (despite doing nothing wrong; they just cannot afford to pay workers!).

This is from the letters sent to my wife (yes, like an authoritarian regime) to engage in punishment through a loved one, rendering her unemployed and unable to support her parents in xxxxxxxx. He accused her of breaching rules because her spouse mentioned your name in some very tiny IRC channel a long time ago. This isn’t how investigation gets done; it is a witch-hunt.

I’m telling you this because they likely kept you in the dark about what they had been doing. Attached are the portions of the letter regarding the accusations against Rianne and the so-called ‘evidence’, which is a two-person IRC chat (myself talking to an old-time friend whom I do activism with, including thousands of press links about xxxxxxxx).

Kind regards,

Roy

The attachment is a screenshot that shows his name. It is carefully redacted below to avoid identification (by words, name, date, and URL):

Client alleged

To summarise, it seems rather apparent that Sirius clients did not complain about me. This was likely about an insecure CEO (without experience) trying to silence a dissenting voice of reason, who simply refused to lie to clients.

01.07.23

[Meme] Looking Down. Down, Down It Goes… (Penny Stock)

Posted in Site News at 8:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Published moments ago: Develops TPM drivers for proprietary Windows in proprietary GitHub controlled by Microsoft which his employer says it wants to be acquired by to make lethal trucks free of accountability

Aurora Innovation

Summary: Microsoft's helper (whom Microsoft wanted to hire) sees the employer down from over $10 to just $1 (it was over $17 just about a year ago) and says he’s “not afraid of being unemployed in the near future.” (Another post about Microsoft’s plagiarism enablers and about TPM2). For those who don’t know (or forgot) he has been the key individual instrumental in promoting UEFI ‘secure boot’, in effect rendering BSD and GNU/Linux hard to defend in antitrust complaints against Microsoft. He was laying the TPM foundations/traps (under the guise of ‘security’), effectively dooming prospects of broader adoption of alternatives to Windows.

01.03.23

Happy 2023. Techrights Now Has Over 7,000 Objects in IPFS!

Posted in Site News at 8:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IPFS milestone

Summary: We’re fast becoming a very large player in the IPFS space; there’s an extensive catalogue of objects going back to 2020

Just over two years ago we adopted IPFS. On a daily basis we add 9 objects to it, i.e. 3,285 per year. It was therefore inevitable that we’d pass 7,000 by now. Later this year it will be 10,000. We currently operate two IPFS nodes. One will be changed over to fibre-optics at the start of February.

IPFS makes us a lot more resistant/resilient/robust to censorship attempts. It lets us publish information other sites are afraid to publish or struggle to publish (and then keep online).

12.31.22

It’s Nearly 2023 in Some Places

Posted in Site News at 4:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Starting in the edge of the east:

Happy new year, everybody!

12.28.22

What Happens When Flunkies Who Really Work for Google and Microsoft End Up Working ‘for’ (at the Expense of) Universities’ IT Departments

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Site News at 11:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum ebac88a1014e13df9980a23c925b196a
Universities Gone Astray
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: When institutions of higher education (colleges/universities) are occupied by people who cannot build and maintain systems the whole institutions are likely to be hijacked by ‘surveillance capitalism’ companies that work for the American government

EARLIER today we published part one (of four parts) from 'Digital Vegan' Andy Farnell (visiting professor specialising in sound and security), who bemoans the situation at universities’ IT departments. These used to be specialised and well-trained/highly-skilled departments, but nowadays they’re dumbed-down bureaucracy which became increasingly about selecting vendors to outsource to, i.e. not about technology at all. This is getting worse really fast, owing in part to the exodus of geeks and the influx of buzzword slingers (e.g. “Clown Computing”).

“Today’s universities seem to attract the very worst sysadmins, maybe those who could not find employment elsewhere.”“FOSS is useful in mitigating or even reversing the dystopian trends,” an associate has said to us after we published part one, adding that the culprits are “corporate flunkies working against the university, and double handful of resellers too.”

In the video above I tell my personal experiences, dealing with IT departments at universities from 2000 until 2012. I can still recall (from a decade back) some truly embarrassing stories. Today’s universities seem to attract the very worst sysadmins, maybe those who could not find employment elsewhere.

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