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09.24.19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But wait, it get worse

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buzzwords’ battles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s see…

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

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

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

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

There’s a screenshot there as well.

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

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

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

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

That’s a correct way to put it, too…

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

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

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

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

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

09.04.19

Openwashing Report: Microsoft Controlling Linux Means That Open Source Wins, Apparently

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, VMware at 2:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Open Source Wins,” declares one headline when “Open source champion Microsoft” (another headline) imposes its specifications on Linux!

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: The Linux Foundation is out of control; it’s revealing that it’s little more than a propaganda operation of proprietary software giants (something it certainly wasn’t at inception back in 2007) and the Foundation’s links to media sites amplify this propaganda

TRUTH no longer matters. Apparently. There’s “no money” in truth as opposed to distortion thereof.

We were sadly reminded of this a few days ago when we saw this lengthy new article entitled “History of Microsoft: Timeline and Facts” (wow! Facts! Sounds promising!).

Obviously, as one might expect, it’s a bundle of Microsoft lies. This perhaps is the publisher’s business model (revisionism as a service). You know you’re lied to when Microsoft, in 1994, is called “little company”. It wasn’t an underdog back then and it isn’t an underdog now. The Street is just doing a bunch of Microsoft revisionism, which we’d rather not quote without a detailed rebuttal (this can take a long time when the lies are long). We want to remind readers that Microsoft in 2019 still commits a lot of serious crimes. The company depends on that. Microsoft has, since its genesis, depended on breaking laws. If there’s animosity, distrust and even hostility towards Microsoft, it’s very much deserved; Microsoft earned that. Its very own actions are to blame.

We are saddened (but won’t regret) to say that the Linux Foundation (LF) is now in the business of reputation laundering/whitewashing of businesses that break the law. It happens almost every day. We’ll give an example that is only hours old.

“If there’s animosity, distrust and even hostility towards Microsoft, it’s very much deserved; Microsoft earned that.”“How VMware is becoming a good open source citizen” is an actual headline published yesterday afternoon. It’s VMware-sponsored crap, but this time it comes from an LF associate, Swapnil, who received LF money for this propaganda (for a serial GPL violator). We don’t find this amusing. Something called LF (where the “L” stands for Linux) is the culprit, not some corruptible media like The Street. There’s more of the same, just far too shallow…

What this whole thing boils down to is VMware PR. Hohndel again does revisionism for his employer, aided by (and sponsored by) the Linux Foundation… those associates help relay the Big Lie. The Linux Foundation is an unstoppable propaganda machine that defends GPL violators and attacks GPL enforcers. Why? Because it receives bribes from GPL violators. That’s how corrupt that foundation is. A foundation of lies.

The headline of the next piece too is a lie: “VMware Didn’t Violate The GNU/GPL License” (yes, that’s an actual headline, which is not even supported by the body).

The piece is about mere belief by a new hire of the company (about something that happened before the hiring). The Linux Foundation’s team, or Team Zemlin or whatever, became so obsessed with money that it’s willing to intentionally lie for large corporations. Club Linux Foundation is a propaganda operation; an “Infringers’ Club” is what Bruce Perens called it.

“Club Linux Foundation is a propaganda operation; an “Infringers’ Club” is what Bruce Perens called it.”This isn’t just about VMware. Swapnil has just eagerly pushed Microsoft proprietary software ‘ads’ into the site called LINUX.COM, which the LF lets him edit all on his own. This is the LF in 2019: SQL Server promotion.

If we said a decade ago that this would happen…? People would probably laugh at us. So the LF defends GPL violations, proprietary software etc. Not a word about software patents or anything like that…

Who (or what) is this Foundation useful to?

“So the LF defends GPL violations, proprietary software etc. Not a word about software patents or anything like that…”The Linux Foundation in 2019 is the “environmentalist” who tells greens that they’re ‘too harsh’ on oil companies (while taking fossil fuel money) or the “atheist” who says to atheists that they’re extremists and that agnostics aren’t…

A former Microsoft employee, Jake Hamby, told me this about the Linux Foundation a few hours ago: “Yes, but who else is going to fund them? Of course they’re propaganda for Microsoft and friends: those are the guys with the money who need their reputations laundered. Everyone else just uses GNU/Linux for free and doesn’t pay anyone or think about it.”

So the Linux Foundation is little but a service for “guys with the money who need their reputations laundered…”

Sounds about right. That’s Hohndel’s job at VMware.

And let’s not go into the fact that Hohndel’s previous employer had put NSA back doors in every chip and committed loads of crimes while he was openwashing them. The money (‘business’) is in lying, in whitewashing. Facts don’t ‘pay the bills’…

Speaking of bills, the latest twist in the Foundation’s nonsense? Accusing me of being paid to attack them. Evidence? Nothing. Because it’s false. OK, so defaming their critics is the last resort.

“And let’s not go into the fact that Hohndel’s previous employer had put NSA back doors in every chip and committed loads of crimes while he was openwashing them.”Now they try to insinuate — falsely and without evidence — that I’m paid to criticise them.

Amazing!

But wait, it gets worse!

A certain ill-minded Foundation staffer/associate has compared me about 6 times to Donald Trump (whom I object to) with no factual basis. Why? Because he has no argument with which to justify their Microsoft lies…

I don’t even respond to him, but he seems to be bombarding me with tweets (maybe 8 in a row now; I don’t even reply).

The Code of Conduct (CoC) at the Linux Foundation is worthless. Their staff is calling me “fucking idiot” (3 times this week) and I didn’t curse or anything remotely like that. Six times or so I’ve been compared to Trump. Six times. That’s how many times these people (‘Linux’ Foundation) compared me to Donald Trump.

I can take an insult or two (or three, like “fucking idiot”, thrice), but comparing me to Trump is basically comparing me to a criminal.

See the logic?

“A certain ill-minded Foundation staffer/associate has compared me about 6 times to Donald Trump (whom I object to) with no factual basis.”People who expose the LF’s bad behaviour are now the “liars” and the “criminals”; welcome to the LF Logic. Is there a group called “LF Logic” (yet)?

This very much echoes the rhetoric of Microsoft as a company. It pretends to stand for “ethics” while it does illegal things (like unlawfully banning and imprisoning people).

As for VMware?

If VMware still chooses to weakly deny GPL violations, then it’s choosing to bribe people to spread lies instead of apologising and seeking to correct what was done. That would only make VMware more of a villain and stain anyone who spreads the lies. Swapnil is just angry because he agrees to spread lies and he doesn’t like the consequences of these lies. So now he’s flinging insults at me all day long.

As an aside, I guess that to LF folks anyone whom they don’t agree with is “Trump” (even Trump opposers).

I also got called “fucking idiot” thrice. CoC anyone? Turns out the Linux Foundation is nowhere as polite as it claims it wants others (e.g. actual Linux developers) to be. Try to concentrate on promoting Linux, dear Linux Foundation, instead of insulting actual Linux advocates, OK? You spend too much energy promoting Microsoft, GitHub etc.

“I also got called “fucking idiot” thrice. CoC anyone? Turns out the Linux Foundation is nowhere as polite as it claims it wants others (e.g. actual Linux developers) to be.”It’s time to rename perhaps. It’s time to recognise that the LF isn’t at all dedicated to Linux (its staff certainly isn’t!).

“Dear Linux Foundation,” I sarcastically wrote yesterday. “Let me tell you about this thing called “WINDOWS”

“Did you hear about it?

“WIN-DOWS.

“It’s an operating system

“Microsoft makes it

“Microsoft bribes people to use it

“It competes against Linux.”

Linux Foundation staff uses Windows. These people tell us that we’re “winning” because Microsoft gave us some patented code, such as exFAT. Fossbytes, in last week’s article, went even further. It thinks Microsoft imposing a trap on Linux is “Open Source Wins” (that’s right there in their headline).

“Microsoft which has recently become a big Linux fanboy,” says Fossbytes in the opening part of the article. Maybe the next sentence will say Trump loves black people because he ‘hollers’ at Kanye West.

What on Earth? Who writes such nonsense?

“As an aside, I guess that to LF folks anyone whom they don’t agree with is “Trump” (even Trump opposers).”Here’s another new example: “Microsoft is bringing its exFAT patents to Linux and open source”

Words like “bringing its exFAT patents to Linux” show that TechRadar’s authors understand neither patent law nor Linux. The headline alone makes no sense at all. What lunacy. What nonsense.

Here’s what happens when your sole “Source” for an article about Linux is… Microsoft, which considers Linux to be something to wage “Jihad” against (Bill Gates' word). They ended up adding the cocky “Microsoft loves Linux” image to the article!

Thom Holwerda (OS News) said: “Microsoft ♥ Linux – we say that a lot, and we mean it!”

He repeats a lie and means it. Great. Reminds me why I boycotted all his articles and blocked them at mail client (Thunderbird) level 10+ years ago.

This is PR at work. A lot of these people know they’re lying, but they do so anyway. It’s like reverse writ of libel (saying something positive which they know to be untrue).

“This is PR at work. A lot of these people know they’re lying, but they do so anyway. It’s like reverse writ of libel (saying something positive which they know to be untrue).”“Open source champion Microsoft,” says the headline of Brian Fagioli (who calls GNU/Linux users, collectively, “cheapskates”).

The company that attacks Open Source the mostatent aspec is “Open source champion”… right? Like Ken Livingstone calling Hitler “Zionist” (a real scandal at the time).

Other tabloids did more of the same after the exFAT news, which we covered in [1, 2]. Patent aspects were mentioned as far back as July.

09.03.19

Openwashing Report: The Linux Foundation Champions Openwashing of GPL-Violating VMware

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel, Law, VMware at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: The Jim Zemlin/PR-led Linux Foundation is profiting from openwashing services (for VMware) and at the same time it’s banishing critics of VMware, in effect proving just how corruptible (for a fee) the Foundation really is

THE first part about IBM and the previous (second) part about Microsoft highlighted the fact that the Linux Foundation (LF) is little more than a Public Relations (PR) operation. Sure, LF pays the salaries of a few software developers, but those are less than 5% of the Foundation's expenses. Jim Zemlin himself is a high earner; his wife too receives massive salaries, sometimes as a General Manager at close partners of Microsoft. Never anything FOSS…

“Sure, LF pays the salaries of a few software developers, but those are less than 5% of the Foundation’s expenses.”Speaking of companies that almost never do anything FOSS… how about VMware? Well, VMware is a helluva lot worse because it’s one of the best known cases of serial GPL infringements (for many years). Microsoft did that too, but Microsoft is Microsoft and many expect it not only to violate the GPL but actively attack the GPL, usually through proxies such as Black Duck.

Let’s look at what the LF does to ‘naughty boy’ VMware for its violations of the GPL and also recall some crucial history/background.

VMware

For those who don’t know, VMware paid the Linux Foundation a lot of money and got rid of Sandler (community). She’s no longer in the Board. Nobody from the community is in the Board, which is stacked by large corporations. LF is nothing but a corporate front group now. VMware paid, whereupon all those ‘undesirable’ community folks were removed or could no longer be elected.

But it gets worse; It also managed to defund the employer of Sandler, which actively defends the licence of Linux. What is the Linux Foundation good for or who is it good for? Of course this entire scandal about GPL enforcement is old. It’s clear that the Foundation is actively hostile towards GNU-type stuff it builds upon. That’s where we are today. The Linux Foundation not only tolerates GPL violations (Bruce Perens called the LF “an infringers’ club”). Due to bribes it became an advocate for the biggest GPL violators. The LF works for companies that actively attack the GPL. Those who don’t see a problem with it and participate in this abuse are trolls at best.

“The LF works for companies that actively attack the GPL.”We shouldn’t be surprised by the latest from TFiR. The Linux Foundation-connected Swapnil is again promoting proprietary software PR for a GPL violator. VP Product Management at VMware gets a platform for “Major Announcements” (proprietary obviously). He’s in their pockets, so what else can be expected? It’s a whole raft of nonsense from their event. Proprietary obviously…

It’s not just Swapnil by the way; The Linux Foundation-connected ‘news’ sites are also openwashing this serial GPL violator. Swapnil has already admitted that he received sponsorship from the LF to do this (and we know VMware funds the LF, so join the dots).

The LF staff is very well aware of VMware’s abuses (it’s a serial GPL violator like Microsoft), but it helps the violator leverage other people’s FOSS for openwashing purposes, as can be seen here (one week ago).

“The LF staff is very well aware of VMware’s abuses (it’s a serial GPL violator like Microsoft)…”Open Source isn’t the only buzzword/hype wave that this GPL violator is misusing. Blockchain also (another example from the same day).

More vomit-inducing openwashing could be found here last week. Headline: “Pat Gelsinger vows to upgrade VMware’s once ‘bad’ open-source rep to the ‘very’ best by 2021″

Promises, promises. Didn’t they promise GPL compliance of some sort about a decade ago (people had been pointing out these infractions since more than a decade ago)? That never happened. To quote this article/puff piece: “Ahead of day-two of VMware’s VMworld 2019 conference in San Francisco, CEO Pat Gelsinger promised to further overhaul the virtualization giant’s reputation in the open-source world.”

What reputation? There’s none.

How does VMware plan to improve its ‘open’ image?

“They corrupt journalism and we know who facilitates (and profits from) it.”Complying with the GPL?

No.

Liberating its products?

No.

Bribing more groups like the Linux Foundation in exchange for shallow openwashing PR (from LF associates like Swapnil) and hiring FOSS-affiliated people like Dirk Hohndel to tell lies to LF associates (on camera). They don’t try to actually improve their reputation but to buy reputation. They corrupt journalism and we know who facilitates (and profits from) it. These people are an affront to facts and truth. They’re the ‘Donald Trumps’ of FOSS.

08.28.19

Serial GPL Violators Fancy Being Called ‘Open Source’ and the Linux Foundation is Happy to Oblige

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, VMware at 5:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Welcome to the PR universe; Proprietary software is “open source” now…

Summary: Everything we were told is wrong! Proprietary software is apparently open, the Open Source community loves proprietary software and violating Open Source licences by exploiting the code (without meeting the most basic obligations) doesn’t really matter

THE “OPENWASHING” epidemic is spreading. Quite the pandemic!

Microsoft is far from the sole culprit when it comes to openwashing. That much should be obvious and our weekly openwashing reports barely mention Microsoft. Today we’d like to focus on VMware.

“Microsoft is far from the sole culprit when it comes to openwashing.”There has been an extraordinary effort lately to label malicious VMware software “open”. There’s even an openwashing piece [1] with the CEO in a site connected to the Linux Foundation and the author isn’t joking (only coming across as somewhat ignorant if not worse — corruptible). What is this inane PR campaign? It’s like saying that "Open Source loves Microsoft". Lies are the business model now. “Perception management” is what they sometimes call it in the PR industry which the Foundation is based upon.

The openwashing of VMware went up a gear over the past few days because of an event of theirs. Check out Packt Hub’s piece about Pivotal. They’re openwashing their proprietary software by separating just one component out. “Pivotal and Heroku teamed up to create Cloud Native Buildpacks for Kubernetes,” it says. “Cloud-Native Buildpacks turn source code into production-ready Docker images that are OCI image compatible and is based around the popular Buildpack model. Yesterday, they open-sourced kpack, which is a set of experimental build service Kubernetes resource controllers.”

“VMware is, of course, a surveillance and back doors company (see Snowden leaks about EMC’s response and RSA’s revelations).”What about all the rest? Proprietary of course. Remember who’s buying Pivotal… VMware, with Dell Technologies as the main owner. Dell and VMware are joined by the EMC hip and we recently named Dell as a joint openwashing culprit (with AT&T). How about “Dell Adds Kubernetes Support to VxRail”? Dell wants us to believe that it likes Open Source merely because it exploits it. It’s like saying you love cows because you frequently eat beef.

VMware is, of course, a surveillance and back doors company (see Snowden leaks about EMC’s response and RSA’s revelations). Who would give it data? Or a whole database? Sadly, some would. And new reports reveal this thirst for data [1, 2] — a subject which no doubt won't bother the Foundation.

“They set up some group called “Open Source” something to pretend that because less than 1% of the staff has the term “open” somewhere in the job title it therefore means that the whole company is “open”.”Meanwhile we’ve noticed that Swapnil continues that gross, Linux Foundation-funded (i.e. VMware-funded) openwashing of a GPL violator and back doors giant. He’s doing another PR stunt with “Dirk Hohndel, VP and Chief Open Source Officer at VMware [who] talks about the importance of Open Source Program Office.”

They set up some group called “Open Source” something to pretend that because less than 1% of the staff has the term “open” somewhere in the job title it therefore means that the whole company is “open”. Sadly, Swapnil’s site (TFiR) is full of PR spam of proprietary software for proprietary software platforms (e.g. “Aqua Security Brings Aqua CSP to VMware Cloud Marketplace”). Swapnil has reduced himself to an openwasher of VMware who merely copies and edits press releases for proprietary software companies (compare to the original press release; it’s just embarrassing). It’s about Platform9, which in VMworld 2019 made its planned appearance. There’s lots and lots of openwashing coming out of this event, e.g. this from Mellanox Technologies.

Remember, people… VMware is open! The VMware-funded Linux Foundation tells us so. VMware says so too.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. VMware CEO Sets Lofty Open Source Goals

    VMware hasn’t traditionally had the best reputation in the open source community, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger admits. In fact, he sums it up in one word: “Bad.”

07.30.19

The Linux Foundation: Openwashing as a Service (OaaS)

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, VMware at 3:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SAP openwashing (image from Swapnil’s Web site)

SAP openwashing

Summary: The price of deception is high and some companies with billion-dollar marketing budgets are willing to pay that price for corporate reputation laundering; among the facilitators we unfortunately — and increasingly so nowadays — have the Linux Foundation

THIS has gotten almost depressing. The group which presents itself as the home of Linux turns out to be one of its greatest foes or threats. Its biggest Web site, LINUX DOT COM (Linux.com), contains anti-Linux FUD (poorly-selected news picks) and its sole editor, Swapnil, maintains Microsoft focus in the site’s front page. Here’s an example from several hours ago; he modified the original’s headline from “Microsoft buys a start-up whose software limits access to sensitive data” to “Microsoft Buys Open Source Data Privacy Company” (so desperate to keep openwashing Microsoft, which is still suing Linux using patents). He did the same for VMware (another prominent violator of the GPL) on the Foundation’s payroll in its Web site that offers “creative services” (PR). In the article he cites right now the term open source isn’t even mentioned until the third paragraph and it involves twisting the facts (pure Microsoft marketing); the acquired company has some .com Web site and is generally proprietary. But never let facts get in the way…

“Journalists are not the same as ‘journalists’ (the ‘corporate’ types) and we’ve noticed that some so-called ‘journalists’ conflate “having corporate access” with “success”. Having amicability from/with corporate high-ups means you’re a sellout, you’re PR.”Amid the SUSE-SAP tie-up Swapnil (SAPnil?) also did some more openwashing, for yet another proprietary software giant (see the image at the top) and yesterday these people wrote: “why not invest a coffee or tea break in listening to my discussion with Swapnil Bhatia [sic] of TFIR from this year’s SUSECON.”

More openwashing of SAP ‘aka’ SUSE (they’re increasingly the same). Journalists are not the same as ‘journalists’ (the ‘corporate’ types) and we’ve noticed that some so-called ‘journalists’ conflate “having corporate access” with “success”. Having amicability from/with corporate high-ups means you’re a sellout, you’re PR. Not journalism. These corporations fear people who are actually objective and inquisitive. Unlike those who just print what PR departments ask them to. Guess who’s paid by them. And the Foundation is a facilitator of these ‘transactions’.

“Having reviewed its IRS forms (the finer details) last weekend, the Foundation clearly doesn’t care about the image of Linux (spendings less than 2% of its revenue) but about the image of its sponsors, i.e. companies like Microsoft, VMware and so on.”We’ve long taken note of this Linux Foundation obsession — an obsession with calling proprietary software giants “Open Source”, rending the term “Open Source” increasingly void if not meaningless (everyone calling oneself “open”, itself a shallow and unenforced term). Recently we saw SAP throwing some code out there — similar to what Salesforce had done weeks prior. They then reled on shallow ‘reporting’ calling them “Open”; it’s the business model of deceptive PR. We have not forgotten Jono Bacon's openwashing of Microsoft, either. He too is on the payroll, this self-described champion of FOSS and “community”; yesterday he did this puff piece that boils down to PR. He’s like a PR agent for hire, still not finding his place in this world. It’s the business model is reputation laundering; some sort of “I’ll get you positive press for some cash”…

It’s sad to see that the Foundation is immersing itself in this underworld of PR tactics, borderline AstroTurfing. Having reviewed its IRS forms (the finer details) last weekend, the Foundation clearly doesn’t care about the image of Linux (spendings less than 2% of its revenue) but about the image of its sponsors, i.e. companies like Microsoft, VMware and so on. This is a problem.

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for the Linux Foundation was, according to the Foundation, “Director of Public Affairs for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and General (Ret.) James Clapper.” We mentioned this in passing before (back in May). “If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good,” Bill Gates (in)famously said. The Foundation manages to take some of the most ‘difficult’ organisations and make them sound fun, just like "puppies". Is Clapper too a “puppy”? Would she say so, based on his physical apperance? Her colleague Angela Brown, who manages LF events, had only the following things to say about Microsoft (which Jim Zemlin compared to a puppy):

In 3 years that’s all she had to say about Microsoft. It’s all about Microsoft giving money (slush funds) to her employer. These "thank you" services (literally paying for thanks) wouldn't be unprecedented.

“After Novell sold out the community, the Linux Foundation wants another Microsoft partner to join up and participate in groups working on legal topics?”Pamela Jones, Groklaw

07.06.19

The Openwashing of VMware, Sponsored by the Linux Foundation (in Turn Sponsored by VMware)

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel, Marketing, VMware at 8:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Is the Foundation a ‘nonprofit’ PR agency?

Dirk Hohndel
Dirk Hohndel and Linus Torvalds speaking at the LinuxCon Europe 2014 in Düsseldorf, 15 October 2014, by Krd

Summary: Dirk Hohndel (formerly Intel, now VMware) has become the master spinner of an infamous violator of the GPL, a proprietary software company with NSA back doors (evidence shown in Edward Snowden’s cache/trove of leaks)

THE PEOPLE who proclaim to be the voice of “Linux” often aren’t even GNU/Linux users. They just talk about GNU/Linux (calling it “Linux”) and they think it’s absolutely fantastic when “Linux” becomes a platform of blobs and DRM. What is the point then? Why even promote “Linux” if it becomes yet another closed, nonfree system? That’s like swapping Windows for MacOS (or Microsoft for Apple), in effect defecting from one brand to another rather than shifting paradigm or freeing oneself from vendor lock-in.

There seems to be a rift or a split between the GNU/Linux crowd and the “Linux” fans; the former speak of freedom as in Free software, whereas the latter focus on “Open Source” (as in, some code may be available). It’s not hard to see what side most corporations have taken.

I’ve come to the conclusion Steve Ballmer was to Microsoft and to Bill Gates what Donald Trump is to “the Establishment” and to robber barons. Their ugly policies, which they don’t regret, they blame on a person (distraction from a bigger picture). That’s not to say that the person isn’t objectionable; but it helps other, somewhat less objectionable people deflect and personify the problems, which they then want us to believe they ‘resolve’ by merely removing the person. Microsoft after Ballmer has the exact same policy, albeit a slightly different strategy (or marketing/PR) with a new CEO, still largely the same leadership in the Board, notably Gates. Ballmer too attempted to infiltrate FOSS and Linux (and to a certain degree he did), but he just wasn’t so successful at it. He wasn’t a sufficiently good pretender. He was too crude. When we wrote earlier today about Azure we explained that it is all about controlling GNU/Linux rather than loving it. It helps when they tell lies like “Microsoft loves Linux…” (“we come in peace…”)

“Ballmer too attempted to infiltrate FOSS and Linux (and to a certain degree he did), but he just wasn’t so successful at it.”The danger isn’t limited to the operating systems space. As we habitually point out in our daily links, PyCon more or less got ‘sold’ to Microsoft (with the goal of Python entryism). Microsoft also bought itself some powerful seats in other tenets or pillars of Python, e.g. by virtue of buying companies such as LinkedIn and GitHub (but that’s a subject for another day). We should note that Microsoft has also given cash to EuroPython (just about to start [1]) but unlike PyCon they’re not actively advertising Microsoft for it. Attendees can and do support the event so that they don’t end up selling the event to Microsoft (like sellouts who organise PyCon did).

This post is actually a rant about not one but three new videos [2-4] (published as recently as early this morning). One of these [2] was entitled “Developers Don’t Know The Code They Run In Their Applications” (so said the man who receives massive salaries from a serial GPL violator).

Why is he amplified here? Because VMware pays Zemlin’s PAC, which in turn pays and arranges this PR opportunity (the interviewer is professionally connected to Zemlin’s PAC and had all expenses covered by it).

“This interview (or set of clips) serves as a sort of megaphone for Zemlin’s sponsors, including GPL violators.”So Zemlin’s PAC (the Linux Foundation) has turned to something like PR operations for Microsoft and similar companies, including GPL violators such as VMware. With Microsoft there have been various GPL violations (they got caught red-handed!) that we covered in past years, e.g. Hyper-V. This event isn’t a sole example and the interviewer recently advertised himself as a PR service. Has media become “traveling [PR] salesmen”?

If they did some fluff and puff pieces, that’s one thing. Instead, what we have here is company that’s also a serial GPL violator. It badmouths FOSS licences (Hohndel “says that developers don’t even know about the code that’s running in their applications”) and security of FOSS; it’s also downplaying competition to virtual machines (containers), the ‘bread and butter’ of this declining giant. This interview (or set of clips) serves as a sort of megaphone for Zemlin’s sponsors, including GPL violators. Companies such as Microsoft and VMware are not allies of Linux. Surely that’s not too hard to understand, but money talks (they cover the person’s expenses to come to their VMware/Microsoft-sponsored events, he then records the “people of interest” on his “Mac”-branded PC). So now we have a “Chief Open Source [sic] Officer & VP at VMware” lecturing us on FOSS. Yes, a proprietary software company with NSA back doors (see EMC/RSA material from Snowden leaks circa 2013 and 2014) is the ‘authority’ on this subject.

“Another GPL violator, VMware, recently bought Bitnami and a founding person then moved to Microsoft (it happened about a month ago).”It’s like the company pays this PAC to serve as a PR front and control the narrative. Hijacking the story… for a fee. A GPL violator that’s attacking and misusing the GPL coming up with spin. No wonder Bruce Perens called the Linux Foundation a GPL “infringers club”. So Microsoft the serial GPL violator is buying GitHub (well, technically it’s proprietary software, but Microsoft uses it for openwashing purposes anyway). Another GPL violator, VMware, recently bought Bitnami and a founding person then moved to Microsoft (it happened about a month ago). It’s a troublesome trend. They’re trying to just ‘buy out’ FOSS. They target the repositories. They want to control everything, not just in the “business intelligence” (BI) sense but also distribution.

People who sometimes turn out to be turncoats and sellouts aren’t too uncommon; I’ve come across several over the years. Career-climbing opportunists, seduced by money and allured by the cash associated with defection to Microsoft’s lie campaigns (like “Microsoft Loves Linux”) and sometimes Microsoft job offers. Silence on these matters is no longer an option.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. EuroPython 2019: Attendee briefing

    EuroPython 2019 will start on Monday. Again we will have more than a thousand attendees signed up and we’re looking forward to an exciting conference packed with more than 130 sessions from Monday – Sunday, July 8 – 14.

  2. Developers Don’t Know The Code They Run In Their Applications

    It’s a clip from our longer interview with Hohndel that you can watch on TFiR. The interview was recorded at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Barcelona.

  3. An Inconvenient Truth Of The Cloud Native World

    As a result of this awareness, Hohndel is noticing some positive changes. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) recently announced a new SIG around security which will be conducting reviews of CNCF projects.

  4. A Disturbing Pattern Of Cloud Native: Dirk Hohndel

    Dirk Hohndel, Chief Open Source [sic] Officer & VP at VMware talks about a disturbing pattern he is witnessing in the cloud-native space. He says that developers don’t even know about the code that’s running in their applications.

    It’s a clip from our longer interview with Hohndel that you can watch on TFiR. The interview was recorded at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Barcelona.

03.26.19

The Linux Foundation is Not About Linux

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OSDL, VMware at 6:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It used to be, but not anymore

Linux Foundation logo

Summary: Linux Foundation (LF) objectives/missions do not resemble what the Open Source Development Labs, Inc. (OSDL) was founded to accomplish; this puts at grave threat the very raison d’être of both GNU and Linux

THE more we write about the Linux Foundation, the more feedback we receive from readers who teach us things we didn’t know and which these readers feel urged/eager to mention (albeit anonymously, or to be quoted under the condition of anonymity).

“Many corporations are associated with it, so people don’t want to be painted as troublemakers or — at worst — sexist/racist…”The Linux Foundation is big business, it’s big money. Many corporations are associated with it, so people don’t want to be painted as troublemakers or — at worst — sexist/racist (corporations increasingly use these angles to whiten their reputation and condemn critics of these corporations’ supposed “causes”). I certainly saw Microsoft trying this on me…

A reader has just told us that “the board members of the Linux Foundation consist of people from Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and many more names I strongly dislike. Is that normal for a foundation like that? I’m a longtime Linux user wondering why the Linux desktop is not moving forwards, I never read about this before…”

“Hi, Roy,” wrote another reader this morning. “You mentioned Ken Starks yesterday in your article about the LF. He might be a source of even more information on the LF if you ask him, I don’t know for sure but perhaps. He’s apparently still struggling through terrible hardship while doing great work. I guess it would depend on how and why you ask.”

Our reader points out, using the links below1,2, that Starks is still active in trying to get GNU/Linux to children in need.

“…a lot of people will be unlikely to want to criticize the LF directly.”
      –Anonymous
Starks isn’t alone. But these people are apparently reluctant to speak out against something called “Linux Foundation”, fearing it would somehow be framed as being anti-Linux or anti-Torvalds (who is bossed by LF, or by Zemlin, who is in turn bossed by the Board that can presumably fire him). The leverage comes from the very top, i.e. the Board, which now includes Microsoft.

We have not made inquiries ourselves; some readers do so. “However, as you point out,” the above reader continued, “a lot of people will be unlikely to want to criticize the LF directly. Also the way you present the information you uncover will matter a lot for [sic] how what in unearthed gets received.”

“Findings,” as per another reader (writing about support for children’s use of GNU/Linux), are that there’s “1. support in the form of online learning for a group that installs offline labs. 2. support in the past not currently to send speakers to Linux Foundation event — to speak at their conference…”

We wrote about this earlier this morning (Linux Foundation support and what it means by “support”). In my personal view and in my experience (with the LF or its staff), the LF is almost entirely PR. Just look who holds the key positions and receives the highest salaries. Days ago they tried to “befriend” me online. It didn’t work. It’s their job to guard their image, I understand that, but if the goal is to quell dissent, I would not bother… Novell tried this on me over 12 years ago. If nobody speaks out because of approachable, friendly staff, who will?

“None of the funding for travel, food, expenses or equipment was procured through support by Linux Foundation from what I was told and what I saw.”
      –Anonymous
If anything, the LF’s outreach only motivates me to look deeper. What are they trying to silence or suppress? “We don’t need to do this series quickly as the subject matter is timeless,” I recently told a reader, so “I will build up pertinent facts and publish bit by bit.” I’ve been verifying the facts meticulously. Nobody has (yet) pointed out factual flaws or inaccuracies.

In an earlier post of ours Kids on Computers got mentioned. “Kids on Computers set up Pi and maintain many labs in Mexico,” a reader told us. “None of the funding for travel, food, expenses or equipment was procured through support by Linux Foundation from what I was told and what I saw. In fact, Kids on Computers is suffering financially, last I knew. I could get some numbers, but let’s just say they needed and need funding. The discounts for training is really moot in this case — it’s a ridiculous notion. I am going back and asking ‘has anyone in any of the labs you maintain (10+) in Mexico ever used any of these training opportunities?’

“This “support” is a very sad and lame attempt to seem supportive — without doing anything,” the reader continued because “these labs… are OFFLINE [and] these users speak Spanish…

“The Linux Foundation was intended to pay Linus [Torvalds] and maintain standards.”

“The Linux Foundation was intended to pay Linus [Torvalds] and maintain standards.”
      –Anonymous
What has the LF turned into since? We’re probably going to write about their courses and events separately (in the future), but in the meantime not enough people have paid attention to how the salaries exploded (what kind of “charity” pays people like a million bucks a year)? Based on ProPublica, the IRS has had nothing (public at least, as this is the latest and last) since 2016, so we assume that this “charity” now has $100,000,000 or more in turnover (annual). That’s massive. If they double the salaries, accordingly (doubling the turnover), that’s nearly a million bucks a year for a dozen or so staff members. But that’s not what matters (the money); it’s how they use that money which matters and it feels as though LF staff tries to silence/suppress people who investigate it.

It is our understanding that some people blocked Bryan Lunduke (or something along those lines). Jim Zemlin blocked me in Twitter several years ago. If they don’t want to be studied or politely questioned, we shall do yet more of that. In the spirit of freedom, including freedom of expression/speech.

Does the LF respect free speech at all? The CoC suggests otherwise.

The person who donated server resources to Techrights quit Alpine Linux a couple of hours ago (after he had worked on the project for a decade) and wrote: “My only regret is that the project moves in the direction of political correctness over software freedom, and convenience over open governance.”

He had previously opposed Alpine Linux colleagues for playing along with Microsoft in their WSL ploy (Windows disguised as “Linux”, i.e. classic EEE).

“My only regret is that the project moves in the direction of political correctness over software freedom, and convenience over open governance.”
      –Anonymous
What does the LF help with? Putting GNU inside Windows? What about GNU/Linux desktops? It seems like “adding Netflix” (DRM) is the priority now.

We think companies can directly help projects like Debian instead of giving money to LF (to pay a million bucks a year to “executives” in a tax-exempt “non-profit”).

“I have had it with their [LF's] accepting sponsorship from VMWare (especially from what I heard about not releasing the GPL’d code),” one reader said, “their adoption and recommendation of the Censorship Covenant – especially after the horrible behavior by the author, and the fact this controls speech.”

This reader continued: “I have said, the Contribution Covenant is a boil on the ass of our community…”

“I have said, the Contribution Covenant is a boil on the ass of our community…”
      –Anonymous
That perhaps is another subject worth tackling. By covering the European Patent Office (EPO) quite a lot over the past half a decade we missed the chance to comment much about the LF’s attitude towards the GPL and the whole VMware affair. On the CoC we only wrote this very short post last year.

We welcome input from readers and maybe, some time in the near future, contact the above people, including Bryan Lunduke, a former Microsoft employee who keeps alerting that Microsoft hijacks the LF.
_________

  1. [Old] Ten Years After – Part 1

    Fortunately as it played out, that worry was a waste of emotional energy. Not that there weren’t problems in the beginning. There were, but once I was able to show these students a few simple ways to avoid Windows and Linux bumping heads; these kids dug in and began to learn. As it turns out, it wasn’t the students I needed to worry about. Others with much more sway were waiting in the wings to undo months of preparation and success. People that, with ill intention or not, could sink the good ship Linux, at least locally on my end. Initially, some of them did quite a bit of damage.

  2. [Older] Ten Years After Part III – A Storied Conclusion

    While Alton’s case isn’t the norm, it’s good to know that he picked up on the Linux desktop without a lot of drama or angst. However, that too isn’t the norm. As promised in the first part of this “Ten Years After” series, I’ve went over all of the questionnaires and emails and there are only three real “issues” these kids could find to mention, and I mean mentioned in force. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of different types of complaints, but they were, to be honest, nit-picky at best. I don’t think anyone will find any surprises here. So here they are.

09.02.16

The Corrupting Influence of Money in the Linux Foundation (Bias for Sale)

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, VMware at 2:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When enemies of the GPL (GNU) like Microsoft and VMware — not just GNU/Linux-friendly companies such as Red Hat — pay the Linux Foundation to get their way

Red Hat glasses

Summary: The growing danger of a Linux Foundation which is funded not just by proprietary software giants but also direct opposition of Linux and serial violators of the licence of GNU (GPL)

THE level of entryism at the Linux Foundation has become way beyond acceptable and now that only corporations are involved in decision-making (see reminder below) we expect to see the verge of the farcical. How long before the Linux Foundation is not even pro-Linux but is instead pro-industry (for the industry giants that fund and thus dominate it)? Or, put another way, will it endorse things irrespective of the very spirit of both Linux and GNU? Whether something is or is not Free/Open Source software and whether it promotes (GNU) Linux? You know something is very wrong when the (paid-for) keynote speech at the biggest Linux conference is given by the company that called Linux “cancer” and continues to attack Linux to this date. That’s like having Donald Trump at the Democrat’s conventions and campaigns.

We have been trying to write more about patents, especially about the EPO, so not many articles mention Linux or talk about Microsoft these days. Microsoft’s latest patent attacks on Free software are revealing; Microsoft says it “loves Linux”, but its attacks on Linux definitely carry on (as recently as a couple of weeks ago or less).

“Microsoft’s latest patent attacks on Free software are revealing; Microsoft says it “loves Linux”, but its attacks on Linux definitely carry on (as recently as a couple of weeks ago or less).”The following points were mentioned a lot over the past 2 weeks, but we finally decided to write an article about it because sponsored articles (for Linux Foundation funders) continue to come out from the Linux Foundation’s Web site (this disclosure says IBM, but previously it was Microsoft). Why is the Linux Foundation simply morphing into a mouthpiece? Why, for example, is it willing to publish Microsoft lies? Just because Microsoft pays for it doesn’t mean it’s ethical or worthwhile. It reminds us of the years when Microsoft used (exploited) Novell for Microsoft marketing. I’ve exchanged nearly a dozen E-mails about this with Stallman this past week and he too is concerned about it.

The main subject of this article is actually VMware, a company that has been notorious for GPL violations for quite a few years (almost a decade). Some people wrote articles noting that Torvalds had publicly acknowledged the important role of the GPL at LinuxCon. Shortly thereafter, however, Torvalds blasted GPL enforcement. A week ago we saw at least two articles about exactly that [1, 2] (related but less relevant is this article).

“VMware recently poached Dirk Hohndel from Intel (head of Open Source [sic] or whatever they call it) and it was him who interviewed Torvalds as his trusted colleague less than a fortnight ago at LinuxCon, just shortly before the above attack on Kuhn et al.”Journalists then saw a rant in the mailing lists and decided to inform readers regarding Torvalds’ public rant against the Conservancy [1, 2] (these link to the original from the mailing list). A few more articles about the subject have been published since (these are in our daily links) and they serve to reinforce suspicions that Sandler (not just Kuhn) from the Conservancy got pushed out of the Linux Foundation, causing a lot of backlash about a year ago. The backlash was about abandonment of funds (material support) to the Conservancy; it happened after VMware had joined the Linux Foundation and the Conservancy got involved in a GPL enforcement lawsuit against VMware.

But here comes the interesting thing — an observation which I mentioned last week (in passing) over at Tux Machines. VMware recently poached Dirk Hohndel from Intel (head of Open Source [sic] or whatever they call it) and it was him who interviewed Torvalds as his trusted colleague less than a fortnight ago at LinuxCon, just shortly before the above attack on Kuhn et al. It reinforces the suspicion that the Conservancy’s decision to uphold the GPL on behalf of a client made Hohndel an enemy and then, by inference, made Torvalds somewhat of an enemy. Remember that a lot of ‘ex’ Microsoft executives now run VMware (look who has been running the company since 2008) and the company famously violates the GPL (this has been known for many years), just as Microsoft did when it created a shim for its proprietary, back door-compatible Hyper-V (that too was a GPL violation, but Microsoft moved quickly to comply once caught [1, 2, 3])?

“How long before the Linux Foundation is truly/entirely incapable of defending Linux from patent lawsuits and upholding the GPL because Linux foes and GPL foes develop financial strings, making them harder (or riskier) to publicly criticise?”The above observations came out late (I did not wish to write about the subject), but when Microsoft attacked Linux with patents it became too much to skip (I only say “Linux” because it’s Android in this case). How long before the Linux Foundation is truly/entirely incapable of defending Linux from patent lawsuits and upholding the GPL because Linux foes and GPL foes develop financial strings, making them harder (or riskier) to publicly criticise?

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