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08.20.19

Why We Support Phoronix (Whereas Some Others Do Not)

Posted in Boycott Novell, Kernel at 8:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michael LarabelProbably the most important one-man operation other than Jonathan Corbet’s LWN (which is assisted by other writers of Eklektix, Inc.)

Image credit: Intel

Summary: Some people try to characterise Michael Larabel as the ‘bad boy’ of Linux even though Michael is probably the hardest working Linux journalist out there

THE SITE Techrights is almost 13 now. Tux Machines is the same age as Phoronix (about 15 years) and not many GNU/Linux sites have lasted that long. Don’t take them for granted. Much like in the early days of our site (the Boycott Novell days*), demonisation is abundant and prevalent (incitement against or slandering of the messenger/s). We know who’s behind it as sometimes it becomes very visible.

In recent months we responded to so-called ‘journalists’ (of corporate media) who constantly paint Linus Torvalds as a rude ‘bad boy’, a naughty uncontrollable middle-aged man who needs to be tamed if not removed. Techrights too has suffered such treatment over the years. We wrote about the types who do this kind of thing as recently as earlier today. They only seek to destroy things and squash voices. They want to take away voices of people whom they don’t agree with. They don’t want to actually argue, logically; they just pursue muzzling of the other side.

“Phoronix is a good site. Google News started syndicating some months ago.”Michael Larabel is almost being ‘mobbed’ by some news sites. Reddit editors dubbed it “blogspam” and for a long period of time — possibly years — blacklisted the whole domain (banning links to it; I was shocked when I first found that out!). LXer won’t link to it since an old accusation of “sexism” (some post urging people — mostly male — to subscribe, however tactless it may have been at the time).

In our view, treating a site like Phoronix (or a person like Michael) as a ‘nuisance’ is offensive to the very notion of supporting GNU/Linux and journalism around that domain. Some people want that site mentally or technically blacklisted. And for what? It’s ridiculous! That site does good, technical journalism in this day and age when it’s becoming so rare. Pundits and marketing dunces shower us with shallow if not ridiculous articles about “cloud”, “DevOps”, “smart” things and so on. That’s not journalism. These people are laughing stocks to a technical audience. They rarely know what they’re talking about; they mostly repeat mindless buzzwords which they heard other pundits ‘name-drop’ (possibly composed by PR departments of large companies and passed off as ‘prepared’ articles to obedient media).

“Hard-working, around-the-clock writers, coders and profilers (benchmarking) are very rare and if we lost Phoronix it would be a colossal problem not only for Linux.”Phoronix is, in my experience, usually quite credible. I’ve followed the site closely since its beginning and I’ve linked to Phoronix sites perhaps 20,000+ times. I spoke to Michael, who at times gave useful pointers to us (news of interest to us).

Phoronix is a good site. Google News started syndicating it some months ago. If people don’t appreciate it enough, then this one too we might lose. It would be tragic as almost nobody else covers graphics and kernel news at the same level of depth (except perhaps LWN and sometimes — until recently — Linux Journal).

I’ve had some complaints about the occasional sensationalism that gets exploited by truly hostile press (hostile towards Linux) to attack GNU/Linux, as happened earlier this month (half a dozen articles used Phoronix to then attack GNU/Linux as a whole, using shallow headlines and no understanding of the intricacies).

“Support the sites that still support GNU/Linux. Do not take anything for granted.”Hard-working, around-the-clock writers, coders and profilers (benchmarking) are very rare and if we lost Phoronix it would be a colossal problem not only for Linux.

Seeing that they added malicious surveillance to all their pages (Michael told me it’s the publisher’s idea or “came from above”, the “boss”), and bearing in mind they rely on subscriptions — like Liam Dawe relies on funding through Patreon to run Gaming on Linux — it’s almost forgivable and tolerable. It’s still avoidable if one disables JavaScript — truly a plague on today's bloated Web where ‘surveillance capitalism’ emerged as the prime business model.

We still can’t believe we’ve lost some of the most important GNU/Linux sites this year, leaving a news vacuum that’s difficult to fill. Let’s make sure there aren’t more high-profile casualties on the way. Support the sites that still support GNU/Linux. Do not take anything for granted.
_____
* Only hours ago SUSE was promoting Microsoft, a day after the head of OpenSUSE had stepped down and weeks after the CEO of SUSE was replaced by a proprietary software hack from SAP.

06.10.13

Novell’s Acquirer Says the Brand Was Tarnished

Posted in Boycott Novell, Novell at 2:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hole in the wall

Summary: Attachmate’s CEO acknowledges that Novell lost much of its lustre when it was acquired

Techrights deliberately avoids Novell these days, with few exceptions. Daily links never contain anything about Novell and SUSE (which descended to obscurity anyway as many contributors walked away from SUSE, either to other distros or personalised alternatives).

Bison slayer (Mr. Hawn) provides no specific details when asked about Novell’s business, except his claim that the brand (which hardly exists anymore) is no longer declining:

Two years after it acquired Novell and took the company private, the Attachmate Group says its decline has been arrested. It anticipates being able to hold that line next year.

Jeff Hawn, president and chief executive of the group, told iTWire on Wednesday that the Novell brand had lost its lustre by the time Attachmate acquired it.

Boycott Novell must have played a small role in this. It does not pay off to sell out to Microsoft, selling one’s patents to Microsoft, leaving one's distro to be funded and thus remotely run (for self gain) by Microsoft.

07.10.11

Boycott Novell Concluded

Posted in Boycott Novell, Microsoft, Novell at 4:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Remnants of Novell have moved to other companies; is it time to let the “Boycott Novell” project be declared over?

THERE IS not much left to say about Novell. The company more or less vanished, so for Boycott Novell to be an active project would be hard. Novell did not reform itself (it got worse over time), but the alternative goal was achieved. We hoped to make Novell change its ways, ideally, and withdraw from the Microsoft deal due to public pressure, otherwise to just fail and give way to ethical companies.

After spending hours researching for this post, we are left wondering if this is good use of time. Even Microsoft is an issue we mostly neglected with the exception of patent stories because a patent parasite is all we expect Microsoft to be within a few years.

Based on what we found about Novell, not much of its core is even passed to Attachmate. Instead, the new management is almost purely Attchmate’s. We’ll show and reiterate through some new evidence in a moment. Alka Agrawal departed from Novell based on this new article from the Indian press which says:

The panel comprised well known names in the Industry and included Sucharita Eashwar – Senior Director, NASSCOM; Vinita Ananth – CEO & Founder, Vangal; Alka Agrawal – former VP & Head of India Development Centre, Novell Inc and Pragjyoti Nair – Director, Program Management and Business Operations, Yahoo!.

Two more executives once employed by Novell have moved on and here we see that Novell’s Hale was in Microsoft and not just Novell. This is an interesting observation which is highlighted by Joe the VAR Guy. He says: “Hale — a veteran of Microsoft, Novell and F5 Networks — joined Sophos shortly after the Astaro acquisition was announced. In a recent interview, Hale told The VAR Guy that Astaro would remain channel-led under Sophos ownership. Bob Darabant, VP of Americas at Astaro, echoed those thoughts in a phone call with The VAR Guy earlier this week.”

There are some more examples of Novell management with Microsoft background. John Donovanhas moved from Novell to VMware, which is run by many former executives from Microsoft (high Microsoft roots density at the top management). Evidence can be seen here: “It was one of the things I wanted to do when I joined,” says John Donovan, who moved from Novell to become VMware’s ANZ channel director in November 2010. “I wanted to re-connect with a lot of our partners in a much more dynamic face-to-face fashion.”

The new VP of engineering at another company turns out to have also left Novell (it is not clear when, however):

Previously, Gacek held engineering management positions at Novell, VeriFone, Canon and VITALINK.

Here is another departure which we mentioned before and clear evidence that those who manage Novell’s residue are from Attachmate [1, 2, 3]. Some of these were mentioned before, but evidence reappears in the news. Mono got dumped, so there is just about nothing left in Attachmate which is FOSS.

Novell is sort of over. Can we leave it aside now and concentrate on other issue a little more? Dear readers, your feedback is needed.

Boycott Novell bus

05.22.11

What Happens to the Novell Boycott

Posted in Boycott Novell, Site News at 7:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dark question

Summary: Clarifications about our goals, which never really changed at all

“BOYCOTT NOVELL” is the most significant part of the Techrights Web site. It is also the genesis of the site. Now that Novell is dead we are going to follow parts of Novell that are impacted by the patent deal with Microsoft. Needless to say, since Microsoft and Novell signed their patent deal the plague of patents has spread further, largely thanks to Novell’s approach. But this means that we merely continue to track the very same problem. It just takes a different corporate identity (or several). The problem was all along software patents, since the very first day this was site was erected and then advocated. It is not enough to have good software which is free/libre if companies design the law such that this software becomes non-free or illegal.

05.08.11

Eulogy for Novell

Posted in Antitrust, Boycott Novell, Microsoft, Novell at 10:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The stone of a memorial

Summary: A look back at the “good Novell” and the “bad Novell”

The company called Novell used to be one of the leaders against — not with — Microsoft. Not only did Novell take Microsoft to battle over antitrust abuses but it also provided alternatives to some of Microsoft’s pillars of lock-in. Back in 2005 Novell was one of my favourite companies. It advertised “Linux’, it manages the release of S.u.S.E., and it fought against SCO at a crucial time. But that was the old Novell. Sooner or later it became clear that Novell was having serious difficulties and the same COO who had complained about Microsoft’s abuses suddenly became the company’s CEO and then shook Steve Ballmer’s hand. Novell did what some professionals do to advance their career by stepping out of the crowd. Novell decided that its alliance with Microsoft would somehow be perceived as a selling point and not the opposite; but boy, were they wrong!

The signing of the Microsoft deal came at a time when Novell had a leading GNU/Linux distribution, even on desktops. There was fierce competition back then. But Novell’s impatience, particularly among the executives and their short-term goals (they work from quarter to quarter, so long hauls are unaccounted for) led a money-grabbing move. In the short term, Microsoft’s cash injections paid off (for both parties). But the damage they did was enormous. To this date, Novell is not seen as a GNU/Linux champion. It is seen as a defector, a betraying company. And that is how it dies — without respect. Ximian dies along with Novell, for the most part.

01.16.11

Techrights is Not a Rename of Boycott Novell

Posted in Boycott Novell, Site News at 2:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s an umbrella site of Boycott Novell

Summary: An explanation of the relationship between the names “Techrights” and “Boycott Novell”

THERE IS a common misconception spread mostly by detractors of this site and there is also a famous saying that if lies are repeated unchallenged, they will eventually stick, so Techrights should state for the record yet again that Techrights is not a rename of Boycott Novell. It is a new name, but not a rename. Essentially, one is an ‘umbrella’ to the latter, intended to make the name better suit the expanded scope of the site (including the daily links).

12.13.10

Chronology of Techrights Focus and Plans for 2011

Posted in Boycott Novell, Site News at 7:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Phone and woman

Summary: Quick roundup of where Techrights has been and where it is going

IN 2006 we were focused almost solely on Novell.

In 2007 Microsoft started using the Novell deal to issue patent threats against GNu/Linux, so we focused a great deal on the subject.

2008 was year so full of Microsoft scandals (notably OOXML), so we put great emphasis on it, in addition to the above.

In 2009 we began digging up Comes vs Microsoft exhibits again, putting out there leaks of confidential items of interest. In addition, we began looking a lot more closely at Microsoft news (since around October 2008).

“2008 was year so full of Microsoft scandals (notably OOXML), so we put great emphasis on it, in addition to the above.”2010 no longer dealt with Comes vs Microsoft exhibits but instead it focused on Novell’s sale, Microsoft’s misconduct, Microsoft’s ongoing demise, and a variety of Free software matters with the usual emphasis on software patents, which are considered by some to be the #1 issue. Microsoft is gradually losing news presence; instead, it has court presence. Rather than new products it has new patents (or patent trolls).

Towards the beginning of 2011 it becomes clear that Apple got bigger (in some sense) than Microsoft, Android inherits the mobile market (but impedes freedom in various ways), and there are patent lawsuits from the likes of Apple and Oracle, both targeting Free software. The plan is therefore to concentrate more on the patent issue (including AttachMSFT, a post-Novell incarnation). In addition, as real digital rights (privacy, neutrality, free speech, etc.) are being taken away and computer users are therefore increasingly repressed, Techrights will spend more time debating the issues. The threats to freedom never ever went away (it’s a perpetual struggle against centralisation and abuse of power), but one can adjust to them for a response to be better targeted. Our focus on Wikileaks as of late is not a distraction. It has so much to do with people’s (tech) rights on the Web and in general, even offline. “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” said George Santayana and “[v]alue your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history,” stressed Richard Stallman. A few months ago he said, “I often get tired, but I don’t stop.” Neither should any of us; the loss of one’s freedom is a lot more agonising.

11.27.10

Techrights Celebrates 12,000 Posts

Posted in Boycott Novell, Site News at 8:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Roy climbs

Summary: Techrights climbs closer to the 15,000-post milestone with nearly 50,000 indexed pages

This is the 12,000th blog post in Techrights. We have come a long way in just over 4 years and the initiative known as “Boycott Novell” is now complete as Novell got sold (as expected, it’s not the end of it but only the beginning of a somewhat Microsoft-owned Novell).

Google currently says that it has 49,200 pages indexed for techrights.org*. The domain comprises single-page blog posts but also additional pages in the Wiki and other parts of the site, even years of IRC logs. We take pride in a good discussion which happens in real time rather in blog comments, which were reduced by about 90% since we required registration. Disruption to this Web site (DDOS attacks, trolling, etc.) has been reduced dramatically and we receive a lot of respect from newspaper journalists, television channels, and yesterday I had an online engagement with Sir Tim Berners-Lee (regarding software patents).

“The domain comprises single-page blog posts but also additional pages in the Wiki and other parts of the site, even years of IRC logs.”We recently started an audiocast dubbed TechBytes, which will resume shortly, hopefully to be published at the pace of a show once in a couple of days. The number of requests for the show has increased dramatically over the first 3 weeks of the show, so we will definitely carry on with it. Delivering ‘content’ (stories and discussion) more quickly is one of the merits of this medium.

Thanks for the continued support and to our many readers from the United States — please enjoy the rest of thanksgiving weekend.
____
* It’s no secret that I’ve always put quantity before quality because without quantity it’s simply hard to keep track of everything. A typo here and there is rarely a crucial problem and it has worked well for me as an overachiever at school and university. If you spot an error, please point it out so that it can be corrected and never repeated.

Techrights turkey

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