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07.08.20

Fraunhofer is Again Evergreening Software Patents to Maintain Its Codecs Cartel, Forcing Everyone to Pay to View/Stream Multimedia Files

Posted in Europe, Patents, RAND, Standard at 5:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fraunhofer

Summary: The roller-coaster of software patents on multimedia isn’t stopping; we know the culprits who can be named for perpetuating this injustice

THE links below [1,2], which were included or will be included in Daily Links, show that little has changed for the better. Old multimedia formats are being phased out in favour of ones that have newer (not yet expired) software patents on them. This is a big problem for Free software. In the past, for instance, Mozilla paid millions of dollars to “license” some patents for Firefox. Even patents that 35 U.S.C. § 101 likely rendered obsolete and invalid (but the USPTO grants such patents anyway). They’re of course leveraged in bulk, in order for legal challenge of them all to be impractical. It’s an extortion racket; it is not only facilitated by the US but also the ‘European’ Patent Office (EPO), where a large majority of the patents aren’t even European. António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli defend those rackets and even occasionally meet the people behind those rackets.

Regarding Fraunhofer, there’s a lot worth condemning, e.g.:

Days ago Fraunhofer, a Microsoft ally, also published an anti-Linux ‘study’ which the media was quick to exploit for FUD.

“It’s already embraced by DRM giants like Google and Netflix (the same ones that pushed for DRM on the Web and EME in Web standards).”OIN, a proponent of software patents, had the audacity to publicly defend Fraunhofer. That said a lot about OIN and what it really stands for. So here we are in 2020 and the cartel goes on, even without the media studying the subject and blasting MPEG-LA the way it did a decade ago. Puff pieces like the ones below (pure fluff) are a symptom of the death of journalism. They make it sound like Fraunhofer has just given us a gift when in fact we already know that Fraunhofer did intentionally counter-productive things (making codecs less efficient, performance- and storage/compression-wise) just so that they can stockpile more patents. This cartel ought to be rejected, not embraced. It’s already embraced by DRM giants like Google and Netflix [2] (the same ones that pushed for DRM on the Web and EME in Web standards). It reinforces monopolies.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Fraunhofer’s new H.266 codec promises to cut the cost of streaming 4K video in half

    The codec’s full name is H.266/Versatile Video Coding, as Fraunhofer says it’s designed to be a successor to the industry-standard H.264/Advanced Video Coding (AVC) and H.265/High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) formats that combined make up about 90 percent of global digital video transmission and compression on the market today. While HEVC was first released in 2013, the codec has proved controversial due to aggressive patent disputes from its various stakeholders. That’s why AVC, the predecessor to HEVC, still remains the more dominant standard, despite first releasing back in 2003.

    But Fraunhofer says VVC could be a path forward for the industry, as almost every major hardware and software company is currently tied up in a messy patent royalty system that dictates how much various stakeholders must pay to use different compression and transmission standards for devices, websites, and apps. With VVC, Fraunhofer says you can get something far better than AVC and HEVC without any of the licensing headaches.

  2. Fraunhofer HHI H.266/Versatile Video Coding (VVC) Halves the Data Requirements of H.265

    There’s a lot of hype around AV1 royalty-free video codec since it has backing from large companies, better characteristics than H.265 or VP9, and is already used by YouTube and Netflix.

05.25.20

Features Considered Harmful

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Standard at 1:46 am by Guest Editorial Team

Article by figosdev

Stop

Summary: “But the benefits of Free software, free candy and new features are all meaningless, if the user isn’t in control.”

I‘m a fan of BASIC. In fact, my favourite modern language, now 5 years old, was originally named after Basic. While Dijkstra is famous for hating on the language, it was his editor (Wirth, I believe) who incited decades of clickbait titles by working the infamous line attributed to Dijkstra into the top of his article.

I do not hate Dijkstra in return. In fact, his stance on Basic was reasonable enough, so long as we are talking about the actual arguments he made — which applied more to the original line-numbered versions of Basic than today’s versions, which look like Pascal by comparison. Basic was good enough as a first language for Linus Torvalds. Dijkstra actually had a number of great ideas that Basic once lacked. And in more ways than one, it doesn’t bother me that software evolves.

Whether it was his intention to save Basic or get people to use a better language instead, Basic itself isn’t harmful. Some of its features may lead to worse programming, but I think Torvalds (as a coder) proves that using it doesn’t necessarily prevent you from gaining good programming skills. Some languages indeed will teach better discipline, but if you’re determined to be lazy, you’ll probably find (or create) tools that suit your preferences.

I am not against features, per se. I’m also against prohibition and the drug war. But the great harm done by heroin cannot be dismissed — it kills people, and although there is no law that says you must try heroin, getting away from it isn’t always as simple as “just don’t use it”. Fortunately, while I did find Basic somewhat addictive in practice, I have not tried heroin. Though I’ve certainly lived in places where it was a problem. In fact, it’s a problem that tends to increase when the alternatives are fought harder against.

GitHub could arguably be the heroin of the Free software world. We know the harm it does, we’ve been warned about it for years, there’s absolutely no mandate to use it at all — yet people keep finding themselves addicted to it. GitHub isn’t known so much for killing people, but it poses a great threat to projects that use it. What GitHub actually kills, is software freedom.

I’ve written a lot about GitHub lately, but in this article it is just one example of a larger problem. Like with Basic, it is not “GitHub” itself, but some of its features that we should worry about. And the warnings against it have come from Torvalds and Stallman alike.

The complaints from Torvalds against GitHub are closer to Dijkstra’s complaints about Basic — GitHub encourages bad practices in Git management, and breaks existing features. It trains you to be a worse Git user. I think this is a minor problem next to the others. But just as Dijkstra is a pioneer of structured programming, Torvalds is the original author of Git. That makes the critique much more notable.

The fact that GitHub breaks Git the way that it does, fits in with a larger complaint of my own — even if Torvalds decides (or is paid to) change his mind about it. It was developed by Chris Wanstrath, but it was developed along lines that are not entirely different from Microsoft’s EEE tactics — which today I will offer a new acronym and description for:

1. Steal
2. Add Bloat
3. Original Trashed

It’s difficult conceptually to “steal” Free software, because it (sort of, effectively) belongs to everyone. It’s not always Public Domain — copyleft is meant to prevent that. The only way you can “steal” free software is by taking it from everyone and restricting it again. That’s like “stealing” the ocean or the sky, and putting it somewhere that people can’t get to it. But this is what non-free software does. (You could also simply go against the license terms, but I doubt Stallman would go for the word “stealing” or “theft” as a first choice to describe non-compliance).

I came up with this SABOTage acronym when I was going to sleep, and originally it was Steal, Add Bloat, Attack — I guess spelling isn’t a strong point when I’m tired. But this is what people do even in the Free software world today; they take away compatibility (as GitHub did with some Git features Torvalds thinks should work properly), they add stuff that is easier for a large corporation to host (Gitlab too, is terribly bloated I’m afraid — but it can be self-hosted at least) and they attack the original — by dragging everyone into GitHub (as it’s “better”).

I really do understand the appeal of GitHub — I’m a former user as well. While the complaints of Torvalds are relevant to this discussion, the complaints by Richard Stallman are more important to me. In 2015, he said to GNUstep developers:

“GitHub does things that are quite bad for free software and is not interested in changing them. If you want to move off Savannah, please pick some other place.”

This led to a shallow debate on the merits of GitHub vs. alternatives, and Stallman argued that GitHub negatively affects the license choices people make. One person replied that he was having an unrealistic expectation of GitHub, but this was the thing — we can make it about the design of GitHub, or we can look at the effects. In effect, GitHub successfully gets people away from making good choices.

It also includes non-free Javascript, which many people are willing to forgive or overlook sometimes. But this discussion was about code hosting for the GNU Project itself! If any project should not rely on GitHub and non-free Javascript, it’s the GNU project.

“But it still works if you turn Javascript off” they said… again, this is one situation where many of us are willing to overlook non-free Javascript: if the website still works when you disable it. This is still wildly inappropriate for the GNU Project to endorse, because they’re still encouraging users to run it.

Other than the fact that running and promoting only Free software (yes, I’m familiar with Stallman’s latest article on the topic) is one of the goals of the GNU Project, I think there are worse things about GitHub. And I think that GNU projects that continue to use it unapologetically, such as GNU Radio and GNUstep, are proving that their developers DON’T care about your freedom, and do not represent (nor achieve) the goals of the GNU Project.

And the fact that Microsoft has spent decades trying to co-opt and control Free software? Who honestly cares about that?

But I am aware that such Microsoft-neutral or Pro-Microsoft developers are not necessarily agreed with by every developer on these projects. In the instance of GNUstep, we are talking about the leader of the project who doesn’t care about your freedom.

I did say that GitHub was just an example; it’s a very big example, though not the only one. Microsoft is taking over Python as well. And the way it’s taking over Python does have the aim (and the success) in dragging it into the GitHub trap, because GitHub is perfect for that sort of thing — but the tactics being used would hurt Python with or without GitHub as well. It conquers projects the same way as empires conquer nations — by planting flags in whatever they want to own:

This Techrights article is from 2010, and though they have done this farther back than that, and continue to do the same, Microsoft is still planting flags all over the place. It wants to run your conferences. It wants to host your code. It wants you to agree to its terms. It wants you to adjust your development to its heavily contrived, self-serving “standards” from OOXML all the way back to Rich Text Format.

Again and again, Microsoft “Steals” or “Steers” the development process itself so it can gain control (pronounced: “ownership”) of the software. It is a gradual process, where Microsoft has more and more influence until they dominate the project and with it, the user. This is similar to the process where cults (or drug addiction) take over people’s lives, and similar to the process where narcissists interfere in the lives of others — by staking a claim and gradually dominating the person or project.

Then they Add Bloat — more features. GitHub is friendly to use, you don’t have to care about how Git works to use it (this is true of many GitHub clones as well, as even I do not really care how Git works very much. It took a long time for someone to even drag me towards GitHub for code hosting, until they were acquired and I stopped using it) and due to its GLOBAL size, nobody can or ought to reproduce its network effects.

I understand the draw of network effects. That’s why larger federated instances of code hosts are going to be more popular than smaller instances. We really need a mix — smaller instances to be easy to host and autonomous, larger instances to draw people away from even more gigantic code silos. We can’t get away from network effects (just like the War on Drugs will never work) but we can make them easier and less troublesome (or safer) to deal with.

Finally, the Original is trashed, and the SABOTage is complete. This has happened with Python against Python 2, despite protests from seasoned and professional developers, it was deliberately attempted with Systemd against not just sysvinit but ALL alternatives — Free software acts like proprietary software when it treats the existence of alternatives as a problem to be solved. I personally never trust a project with developers as arrogant as that.

I should thank Roy for inspiring this article, today he made what I consider a minor error in sharing this:

“Kushal Das: A few new generation command line tools” #cli #freesw #gnu #linux

“New generation” indeed. (Original Trashed). Let’s look at what these “new generation” command line tools are like:

“…ripgrep was the first Rust tool I started using daily as a replacement for grep”

Great! a GitHub-based tool written in Rust, which is also GitHub-based. Not unlike this illustrative effort to recreated GNU coreutils in Rust: https://github.com/uutils/coreutils

“Cross-platform Rust rewrite of the GNU coreutils” — and what’s the license?

“uutils/coreutils is licensed under the MIT License”

“A short and simple permissive license with conditions only requiring preservation of copyright and license notices. Licensed works, modifications, and larger works may be distributed under different terms and without source code.”

“And without source code.” Steal, Add Bloat, Original Trashed.

But there are still more little goodies from GitCrap that inspired this article:

“…exa is the replacement for ls.”

Oh good, I was hoping to replace a standard GNU tool with something from Microsoft GitHub. Wonderful.

“…bat is the one stop replacement for cat and less.”

It’s difficult for me to get excited about these “next generation” tools, when I spent several years working to GET AWAY from Microsoft, and they want me to get all my software from GitHub. If I wanted to get all my software from Microsoft and the rest of GIAFAM, I’d just use Windows.

And speaking of, the coup continues this week, with the new COO at Microzilla: Adam Seligman — “formerly of Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft.”

GREAT! That’s also how they gradually took over Nokia, Apache Software Foundation and became the boss of Linus. [Editor's note: Even the COO of GitHub now bosses Linus]

Of course I don’t really blame Roy for sharing that link — there are several ways he ends up with stuff like that, and just as often it comes with a warning or complaint that it needs to #deletegithub. And if this article helps, the link surely inspired it. Much worse than the link itself is the mess that it leads to.

Here’s something else to consider — the way that websites subtly (and sometimes innocently) add to the problem with handy Share icons (which I’m not entirely against). A colleague informs me that one of the things that draws people to GitHub is the way that other websites make it easier to integrate with it. I can’t fault his logic, he’s right. But here’s the reality of that. Such tie-in features will always be implemented for the largest option first, and typically the largest option only.

They’re not going to bother reinforcing smaller choices usually, they’re going to reinforce the largest one. So this practice itself — while technically and theoretically neutral (as it could offer several options for code repos) actually encourages monopoly in practice most of the time. I’m not really against the practice — I’m against its outcome. Which means we should be sceptical or think critically about the practice as well.

There’s a meme about creepy vans with “FREE CANDY” painted on the side, which I took one of the photos from and edited it so that it said “FEATURES” instead. This is more or less how I feel about new features in general, given my experience with their abuse in development, marketing and the takeover of formerly good software projects.

People then accuse me of being against features, of course. As with the Dijkstra article, the real problem isn’t Basic itself. The problem isn’t features per se (though they do play a very key role in this problem) and I’m not really against features — or candy, for that matter.

I’m against these things being used as bait, to entrap people in an unpleasant situation that makes escape difficult. You know, “lock-in”. Don’t get in the van — don’t even go NEAR the van.

Candy is nice, and some features are nice too. But we would all be better off if we could get the candy safely, and delete the creepy horrible van that comes with it. That’s true whether the creepy van is GitHub, or surveillance by GIAFAM, or a Leviathan “init” system, or just breaking decades of perfectly good Python code, to try to force people to develop differently because Google or Microsoft (who both have had heavy influence over newer Python development) want to try to force you to — all while using “free” software.

If all that makes free software “free” is the license — (yes, it’s the primary and key part, it’s a necessary ingredient) then putting “free” software on GitHub shouldn’t be a problem, right? Not if you’re running LibreJS, at least.

In practice, “Free in license only” ignores the fact that if software is effectively free, the user is also effectively free. If free software development gets dragged into doing the bidding of non-free software companies and starts creating lock-in for the user, even if it’s external or peripheral, then they simply found an effective way around the true goal of the license. They did it with Tivoisation, so we know that it’s possible. They’ve done this in a number of ways, and they’re doing it now.

If people are trying to make the user less free, and they’re effectively making the user less free, maybe the license isn’t an effective monolithic solution. The cost of freedom is eternal vigilance. They never said “The cost of freedom is slapping a free license on things”, as far as I know. (Of course it helps). This really isn’t a straw man, so much as a rebuttal to the extremely glib take on software freedom in general that permeates development communities these days.

But the benefits of Free software, free candy and new features are all meaningless, if the user isn’t in control.

Don’t get in the van.

“The freedom to NOT run the software, to be free to avoid vendor lock-in through appropriate modularization/encapsulation and minimized dependencies; meaning any free software can be replaced with a user’s preferred alternatives (freedom 4).” – Peter Boughton

Long live rms, and happy hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

02.27.20

The Linux Foundation is Deeply Committed to Diversity and Inclusiveness (as Long as You Have Perfect Vision and Use ‘Big Browsers’ That Spy)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Standard at 10:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux Foundation access issues

Summary: The Linux Foundation’s message of inclusiveness refers only to a particular kind of inclusiveness

“The Linux Foundation is Deeply Committed to Diversity and Inclusiveness,” say several pages, including this one in the title.

“It is only getting worse over time; months ago I was no longer able to access the site at all using my GNU/Linux (KDE) browser.”We’ve already mentioned that this site has spyware in all the Web pages and other usability (“UX”) type issues, not to mention severe accessibility issues (see above).

It is only getting worse over time; months ago I was no longer able to access the site at all using my GNU/Linux (KDE) browser. I cannot press the X, as it has no effect.

Linux Foundation diversity

I cannot move anywhere. Same here:

Linux Foundation diversity programs

I cannot click on anything or highlight anything. Scrolling up and down is all I can do. Even with JavaScript fully enabled!

“Scrolling up and down is all I can do. Even with JavaScript fully enabled!”It’s clear that whoever develops the site only bothers checking if it works in GAFAM+Firefox browsers, nothing else. They’re all proprietary with DRM.

It’s pretty damning that every single page is like this. So to access the site of something called Linux Foundation I cannot use my Linux Web browser.

“It’s clear that whoever develops the site only bothers checking if it works in GAFAM+Firefox browsers, nothing else.”Then you have to wonder if they’re inclusive of blind people or other people who have special needs when navigating the site. The Linux Foundation made even me feel disabled; for failing to use the site with an actual Linux Web browser.

GitHub is moving in a similar direction and is now Director at Large in the Foundation.

The Foundation says it helps setting/crafting standards, but that too isn’t a consistent message (actions not matching one’s words or perceived values). 81 validation errors/warnings in the front page alone.

01.25.20

Nothing Has Truly Changed Since Netscape and Antitrust

Posted in Antitrust, Microsoft, Standard at 3:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This kind of thing is all but uncommon

GitHub warns Firefox for iOS isn't supported, and doesn't work (infinite loading, unresponsive buttons). Does anyone have the same issue?

Summary: The same old crimes persist, as well as the blatantly anticompetitive behaviour

11.17.19

The Open Invention Network Has Become a Guard Dog of (Some) Patent Trolls and It Misrepresents Us Under the Guise of ‘Open Source’

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Law, News Roundup, OIN, Patents, Standard at 2:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Defending software patents and trolls. Calling them “charities” was likely the last straw.

2 dogs

Summary: The Open Invention Network (OIN), in collaboration with Fraunhöfer, is promoting software patents and all sorts of other nonsense as part of ‘open’ standards in a new paper sponsored by the EU and edited by the former EPO Chief Economist Nikolaus Thumm (not Battistelli's choice); this is another reminder of the fact that OIN misrepresents Free/Open Source software (FOSS) developers and their interests

The Open Invention Network (OIN) is somewhat of a scam. It wasn’t always like this. Ignore their use (or misuse) of the Tux logo and the brand “Linux”; then, check the pertinent members instead. Check the leadership. OIN will truly serve Linux only when it finally combats software patents, i.e. when pigs fly (“OIN OIN!”). As we showed earlier this year, “Today’s Open Invention Network is Run by Former Patent Trolls, Connected to and Backed by Microsoft”

Today’s OIN already calls some patent trolls “charities”, works with them, even hires from them. OIN does not speak for FOSS. It speaks for patent bullies like IBM that also happen to rely on FOSS for some things. OIN is convenient for the likes of IBM. Right now OIN even promotes patents and software patents as part of standards. What are they thinking? Who on Earth thought it would work out well? With the likes of Microsoft as celebrated OIN members, the brain might ‘have gone somewhere else…’ (to put it in more subtle terms)

OIN does not oppose software patents (it never did, since its very inception); its members, especially the big ones, oppose 35 U.S.C. § 101 and are big “customers” of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Yes, the word “customers” is used by them. They are, in a lot of ways, part of the problem, not the solution to it.

“OIN does not oppose software patents (it never did, since its very inception)…”You know something has gone wrong when you see OIN acting as more of a front group for proponents of software patents, manned by patent trolls instead of FOSS proponents. These are people who actually sued Linux (in the previous employer). Unfortunately, many people lost sight of how OIN changed over the years. Therefore, they can’t quite see the changes.

As Henrion noted the other day: “OIN and Fraunhöfer, the foxes in the henhouse, behind the an awful study on how patents in standards are ‘compatible’ with FLOSS…”

With ‘representatives’ like these…

Knut Blind

EU paper

He added that “[t]hey should have read the GPL” and citing the GPL he quoted: “Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, IN EFFECT MAKING THE PROGRAM PROPRIETARY. [...] To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone’s free use or not licensed at all.”

“…many people lost sight of how OIN changed over the years.”“OIN is in the same ‘club’ that opposes and badmouths copyleft,” I told him (check what IBM et al use for licensing of choice). They only adopt GPL when “there’s no choice” (e.g. Linux kernel). “Software patents ought not even exist and after Alice (which Microsoft and IBM attack via their front groups and corrupt lobbyists like Kappos selling ‘connections’) such patents are likely bunk, invalid anyway.”

I was reminded of this again some hours ago because of this new blog post. It’s by Mirko Boehm from OIN, who blocked me in Twitter so we know he has much to hide… (some of his tweets are appalling)

“Their paper uses propaganda terms such as “Intellectual Property Right (IPR)” and I’ve circulated this for discussion in IRC.”“I already tweeted about it,” Henrion told me, “as the fox in the henhouse. We cannot tolerate lobbyists of OIN and Franhofer to write such papers with public money, as they have an interest. This has basic conflict of interests problems.”

Their paper uses propaganda terms such as “Intellectual Property Right (IPR)” and I’ve circulated this for discussion in IRC. For obvious reasons we’d rather not quote the paper or link to it directly (there’s an indirect link above). Instead, we shall leave readers with this OIN tweet:

Mirko Boehm on Fraunhofer as charity

07.15.19

Microsoft Office 360 Banned

Posted in Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenDocument, Standard at 2:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft implemented ODF with all the grace of a 6 year old asked to tidy up their room”

Jeremy Allison, LCA 2010

Summary: OpenDocument Format (ODF, a real standard everyone can implement) and Free/libre software should be taught in schools; it’s not supposed to be just a matter of privacy

Days ago we included in our daily links some early reports about Microsoft Office 360 getting banned in German schools. CBS (ZDNet) is helping Microsoft spin all this with a bunch of lies [1], but this development must worry Microsoft as it can inspire other countries and even non-schools to do the same. We’ve meanwhile noticed (hours ago) that some “Linux sites” promote proprietary software with “ribbons” and OOXML [2] (because there are binaries for Ubuntu). Why not Free/libre software? Are bloggers really this clueless? What does one gain by swapping one piece of proprietary software with another? Or one surveillance form (Microsoft) with another (Google)?

Software Freedom needs to be stressed more and more for such poor advocacy to be discouraged. Choosing something like Google or Apple instead of Microsoft isn’t swapping digital slavery with freedom but instead just swapping ‘masters’.

Update: For the second time in just hours [3] that same “Linux site” promotes yet another piece of proprietary software as a “replacement” for Microsoft Office.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft Office 365: Banned in German schools over privacy fears
  2. FreeOffice July Update Adds MS Office 2019 Support, Classic Interface Option

    A major update to FreeOffice by SoftMaker, a gratis set of productivity apps modelled after Microsoft Office, is now available to download.

    Dubbed the “anniversary update”, the latest version of this office suite intros compatibility with the latest Microsoft Office file formats.

    All three apps in the family, TextMaker, PlanMaker and Presentations, are said to be fully compatible with the latest Microsoft Office file formats, allowing users to open, edit and save in native Office formats like .docx.

    The suite now lets users choose an interface layout, with the standard “Ribbon” interface mode and a more traditional menu-based UI available.

  3. Microsoft Office Clone ‘SoftMaker Office 2018’ Sees Summer Update

    Do keep in mind that SoftMaker Office 2018 is not free software so you will need to buy a subscription or make a one-off purchase to use it longterm.

07.11.19

Microsoft Putting Patent Traps Inside Linux While Blackmailing Companies Using Patents Associated With These Traps

Posted in Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Standard at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue”

Robert Scoble, former Microsoft evangelist

Summary: In an effort to make exFAT (a patent trap) the ‘industry standard’, even inside Linux, Microsoft now wants exFAT inside the very heart of Linux and people are pushing back

With food came the appetite and shortly after being allowed into a secretive circulation of flaw information — the kind of information former Microsoft employees use to come up with brands, logos, buzzwords and Web sites to hype up and profit from Linux and FOSS bugs (e.g. "VENOM" and “Heartbleed” [1, 2] — it’s already progressing even further. Suffice to say, corporate media isn’t interested in Microsoft’s bad history (it's just spamming us 24/7 with "Microsoft loves Linux" revisionism).

Michael Larabel has taken note (as recently as yesterday evening) of filesystem guru Ted Ts’o writing: “Personally, if Microsoft is going to be unfriendly about not wanting others to use their file system technology by making patent claims, why should we reward them by making their file system better by improving its interoperability? (My personal opinion only.)” (those last 4 words are an expression of fear of association, like bullying through one's boss/employer)

It was a discussion among some Microsoft people and former Novell people. They’re still up to no good. They’re not serving Linux; they serve Microsoft, which promotes Windows.

“It was a discussion among some Microsoft people and former Novell people. They’re still up to no good. They’re not serving Linux; they serve Microsoft, which promotes Windows.”Ted Ts’o is not a person who trusts Microsoft (never did!) and the same person who tried to portray Torvalds as sexist (back when the person was female, not male) Ted Ts’o was spun as a “rape apologist” based on some very old message — obviously taken out of context to make Ted Ts’o like an an abominable, unemployable person. We recently recalled and highlighted issues related to this [1, 2].

At the moment Microsoft charges patent tax through companies like Tuxera, so the point raised by Ted Ts’o is absolutely legitimate. But if Microsoft’s entryism inside Linux is working as expected/hoped, even senior and prominent developers like Ted Ts’o can be ousted or at least silenced somehow. Microsoft is now officially inserting patent traps into the kernel used on billions on chips. Sometimes it feels like the kernel is being ‘sold’ to Microsoft by Zemlin et al at the Linux Foundation (they became millionaires by doing so). It often feels, now with people like Cox gone, like the Foundation is nothing but the corporate cabal its Board has become (Microsoft, Oracle and so on). First they kicked out community members, then their journalists and editors. So what’s left? Peripheral PR people, 3 developers on the payroll and an operation that ‘sells’ (passes) Linux+FOSS code to surveillance companies. In this particular case they hope to impede ongoing efforts to replace exFAT with non-Microsoft things. What we see here is how Microsoft uses its ‘moles’ inside Linux (the kernel) to make Microsoft ‘the standard’. It’s not hard to achieve when one ‘controls’ both Windows and Linux, where the latter is a lot more widely deployed.

“There are lots of angry comments about this in Phoronix right now (almost 50, tenfold the usual/average).”Microsoft’s participation was all about pushing proprietary things of Microsoft. Just as one would expect…

Larabel brought up OIN, but even after joining OIN Microsoft is not only threatening but also suing using patents, claiming the usual claims. It demands billions of dollars for patents. And yes, it’s about Linux and Android.

EEE moves so, so very fast inside Linux. There are lots of angry comments about this in Phoronix right now (almost 50, tenfold the usual/average).

“He [Bill Gates] is divisive. He is manipulative. He is a user. He has taken much from me and the industry.”

Gary Kildall

12.01.18

Patent Offices Reward Microsoft for Corruption

Posted in America, Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No-OOXML

Summary: The EPO and Britain’s UKIPO join the USPTO in making Microsoft’s proprietary format the ‘standard’ in filing; this merely perpetuates the negative publicity associated with patent offices

THIS IS not an unfamiliar topic. A decade ago (or more) we wrote hundreds of articles about Microsoft’s OOXML-related abuses. Corrupt European Patent Office (EPO) officials now help the abusers from Microsoft by advancing their fake ‘standard’ that they bribed and corrupted ISO for. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does too, but the latter is based in the US (where Microsoft is based, unlike ISO, which is Europe-centric).

“We suppose they’re perfectly OK being agents of Microsoft, rewarding the company for its corruption instead of embracing open standards anyone can use (not just clients of Microsoft).”As IP Kat put it two days ago: “The EPO and UKIPO are teaming up to make online filing easier to understand. In the EPO and UKIPO online services workshop you will learn about the EPO’s web-based online filing system and the second phase of the DOCX filing pilot. Witness a live demonstration of Mailbox and hear an overview of best practice interaction with the EPO.”

No ODF pilot? Why not? We suppose they’re perfectly OK being agents of Microsoft, rewarding the company for its corruption instead of embracing open standards anyone can use (not just clients of Microsoft).

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