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07.04.20

Indoors Society, Shut the Windows

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 8:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Viruses come through Windows

A deserted station

Summary: Times are changing in all sorts of ways; it seems like GNU/Linux and other Free/libre operating systems may emerge as winners when the ‘dust settles’

THE night was young
GNU had been hung
They told us it was fine
For serenades that Microsoft had sung

An epidemic struck
It wasn’t bad luck
They said it was a “plandemic”
People are as crazy as fuck

Microsoft layoffs ensued
A year after Linux it had sued
But GitHub still wooed
Offering ‘free’ food

Society may never be the same
To work from home we now tame
Forget about open office fame
Glass and metal cages were all along a sham

Travel is now a luxury
For those who can withstand scarred lungs
Conferences now mean a webstream
No handshakes, no hugs

2020 — a heck of year!
Bushfires, plane crashes, and WW3 fear
Free software persisted
Coders gone code
The cause prevailed
But it felt rather odd

IIS is dying
Edge is crying
Stores are dead as nobody’s buying
Surely the chairs are also flying!

Traffic search engines

“I have never, honestly, thrown a chair in my life.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO [CNET News]

07.01.20

Corporate Media Blames ‘China’ and ‘Open Source’ for Back Doors in Microsoft’s Intentionally Flawed Proprietary Software That’s Causing Chaos

Posted in Asia, Australia, Deception, FUD, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 11:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Corporate media has long helped Microsoft distract the public, oftentimes leveraging nationalism to achieve this

The red flags

Summary: ‘Red Scare’ tactics are being used to divert attention away from Microsoft’s incompetence and conspiracy with the NSA (to put back doors in everything, essentially making all software inherently vulnerable, by design)

LAST month we published our hospital series. It was about hospital managers and media, in cohesion, blaming or punishing Microsoft’s competition for Microsoft’s own failings. Hospitals are being taken out of service because of Microsoft and somehow, perhaps miraculously, everything gets blamed except Microsoft. It’s part of a media cover-up and hospital blame-shifting pattern.

“It’s almost as though someone is in deep denial about the nature of the real culprit, instead blaming people who exploit the holes (as they can).”It’s barely surprising to hear — as I did earlier this week — that: “An analysis of the ongoing massive cyber attack on Australia finds mostly Microsoft vulnerabilities exploits.”

The official page speaks of “tools copied almost identically from open source.”

They focus on how the exploits were put together, not the holes that they exploit. But this part is telling: “During investigations, a common issue that reduced the effectiveness and speed of investigative efforts was the lack of comprehensive and historical logging information across a number of areas including web server request logs, Windows event logs and internet proxy logs. The ACSC strongly recommends reviewing and implementing the ACSC guidance on Windows Event Logging and Forwarding and System Monitoring.”

This part is pretty clear about Windows being the issue. “Stop public spending on Microsoft,” the person who highlighted to to me said. “Public Money, Public Code. Media blames China.” The above page also link to this page: “The actor has been identified leveraging a number of initial access vectors, with the most prevalent being the exploitation of public-facing infrastructure — primarily through the use of remote code execution vulnerabilities in unpatched versions of Telerik UI. Other vulnerabilities in public-facing infrastructure leveraged by the actor include exploitation of a deserialisation vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS), a 2019 SharePoint vulnerability and the 2019 Citrix vulnerability.”

IIS, SharePoint, Citrix…

It’s almost as though someone is in deep denial about the nature of the real culprit, instead blaming people who exploit the holes (as they can). Not the people are blamed but the tools. Or sometimes the people, especially if they “foreigners”…

Another person highlighted to us this new piece which he says demonstrates “Windows TCO,” albeit it is “Microsoft marketeering spam” because it sort of rewrites the history of Maersk incidents, which years ago the media said had a major catastrophe due to Windows. This page entitled “Maersk, me & notPetya” says: “Within a couple of hours, it was clear this had impacted every single domain-joined Windows laptop, desktop, virtual machine and physical server around the planet.”

So Windows, with its notorious NSA back doors (for which there are remote access tools — tools which leaked online), is the actual culprit. Maybe stop using something which you know to be flawed (and often by design)?

06.26.20

Adapting to Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 10:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Response to “Adapting To Circumstances” from Planet Ubuntu (hours ago)

PuTTY
Handing the keys over the Microsoft, even literally

Summary: Doing ‘Linux’ the way Microsoft wants you to do it is merely strengthening the Microsoft monopoly; even Planet Ubuntu is currently promoting this inane approach

IT’S not often that we do line-by-line rebuttals anymore, but this one merits a rebuttal. It’s a symptom of concessionary thinking, which is basically accepting Microsoft’s supremacy over GNU/Linux and Free software in the name of “compromise” or “convenience”. It’s why we end up with everything in a Microsoft monopoly called GitHub and lots of OEMs paying Microsoft for “Linux” because of software patents (which are likely bunk anyway).

“It’s a symptom of concessionary thinking, which is basically accepting Microsoft’s supremacy over GNU/Linux and Free software in the name of “compromise” or “convenience”.”Below we quote the original, with a response following every statement, hopefully putting things in context:

I have written prior that I wound up getting a new laptop.

OK, lots available or around these days with GNU/Linux pre-installed. More so over time.

Due to the terms of getting the laptop I ended up paying not just for a license for Windows 10 Professional but also for Microsoft Office.

So what? Proprietary software is worse than worthless. What’s the actual value of Office? It’s mere rental of a piece of malware. Money down the drain.

As you might imagine I am not about to burn that much money at the moment.

You already have. You paid for Windows and for an Office licence.

With the advent of the Windows Subsystem for Linux I am trying to work through using it to handle my Linux needs at the moment.

WSL is Windows, not Linux. WSL doesn’t even have Linux in it. It’s a misnomer. As for WSL2, only about 150,000 people use it worldwide. It’s a failure.

Besides, I did not realize OpenSSH was available as an optional feature for Windows 10 as well.

May I introduce you to PuTTY? It has been around for… how long? Two decades? PuTTY was not controlled by Microsoft, so Microsoft had to ‘reinvent’ it… to keep people like you in the gated community [sic] (prison) of Windows.

That makes handling the herd of Raspberry Pi boards a bit easier. Having the WSL2 window open doing one thing and a PowerShell window open running OpenSSH makes life simple. PowerShell running OpenSSH is a bit easier to use compared to PuTTY so far.

So now you’re running Microsoft’s patented and non-standard shell. Hurray to freedom! Just don’t write any programs/scripts in it. That’s Microsoft lock-in right there.

Did you supply private keys? Oh, wait till you find out Microsoft hoovers all the data from Windows and works closely with the NSA and others… so you might as well assume your keys are already compromised.

The Ubuntu Wiki mentions that you can run graphical applications using Windows Subsystem for Linux. The directions appear to work for most people. On my laptop, though, they most certainly did not work.

So Ubuntu wastes space and time promoting Microsoft’s monopoly and an attack on GNU/Linux. The fact that the documentation did not work for you means that Microsoft is getting its way. It’s already painful enough, giving GNU/Linux a bad name.

“Hey, why bother with this Linux thing? Might as well stay with Windows…”

After review the directions were based on discussion in a bug on Github where somebody came up with a clever regex.

Oh, GitHub. Lovely! So now we’re turning to Microsoft for ‘Linux’ bug reporting.

The problem is that kludge only works if your machine acts as its own nameserver. When I followed the instructions as written my WSL2 installation of 20.04 dutifully tried to open an X11 session on the machine where I said the display was.

At this stage you could have instead asked yourself, “why did I not just wipe Windows and why bother with this whole “kludge” (your word)?”

Unfortunately that regex took a look at what it found on my machine and said that the display happened to be on my ISP’s nameserver. X11 is a network protocol where you can run a program on one computer and have it paint the screen on another computer though that’s not really a contemporary usage. Thin clients like actual physical X Terminals from a company like Wyse would fit that paradigm, though.

Wow, talk about reinventing the wheel. Microsoft taking back technology two decades. I literally did that in 2001. A lot. Without issues. Even Cygwin could handle that very reliably at the time.

After a wee bit of frustration where I was initially not seeing the problem I had found it there. Considering how strangely my ISP has been acting lately I most certainly do not want to try to run my own nameserver locally. Weirdness by my ISP is a matter for separate discussion, alas.

I inserted the following into my .bashrc to get the X server working:

export DISPLAY=$(landscape-sysinfo –sysinfo-plugins=Network | grep IPv4 | perl -pe ‘s/ IPv4 address for wifi0: //’):0

Considering that my laptop normally connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi I used the same landscape tool that the message of the day updater uses to grab what my IP happens to be. Getting my IPv4 address is sufficient for now. With usage of grep and a Perl one-liner I get my address in a usable form to point my X server the right way.

Congrats on reinventing X forwarding?

Elegant? Not really. Does it get the job done? Yes. I recognize that it will need adjusting but I will cross that bridge when I approach it.

Since the original bug thread on Github is a bit buried the best thing I can do is to share this and to mention the page being on the wiki at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WSL. WSL2 will be growing and evolving. I suspect this minor matter of graphical applications will be part of that evolution.

So basically, here you are dealing with issues long solved (like two decades ago). And all this? Just so that you can run Windows while pretending to use GNU/Linux. And it has a keylogger, too. According to the latest press reports, Microsoft also ‘steals’ data from Firefox users on Windows. So good luck; assume Microsoft does the same to your ‘Linux’ setup.

So well done, Canonical. There are now 150,001 WSL2 users. And your documentation sucks. Maybe restart the focus on bug #1 and try replacing Windows instead of ‘improving’ it, driving more Ubuntu members (like the above) back to Windows.

06.18.20

Using Humour to Counter Deception and Googlebombing Campaigns

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Humour, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 5:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux at Google News

Summary: Microsoft’s effort to dominate over GNU/Linux (or hijack its very alternative, its competition) hasn’t gone unnoticed; sites like OMGUbuntu! and Phoronix seem not to understand just how much they help Microsoft by giving ‘free press’ to the utter failure that not many people even use; it’s better to not mention that failing effort or mention it responsibly

THE tactics of Googlebombing aren’t new; they predate Google too, of course… (but named differently; “Googlebombing” was coined over a decade ago)

There’s no single aspect to Googlebombing; one can break it down or split it into several branches of techniques. The one Microsoft has used in recent years is similar to trademark hijacking — apparently similar to what goes on at the EPO. People who search for information about one’s archrival are instead directed to the very opposite. It’s a form of entrapment (entrapping minds) and it games familiar words or phrases. Remember when “VistA” was a Free software system for veterans rather than an appalling version of Windows? There are dozens of examples like that, recently "MAUI".

“What companies state publicly is almost never the same as what is true.”We’ve recently been discussing a number of topics that needed to be dealt with; one was Microsoft claiming to be sensible by renaming “master” in GitHub. Another is the WSL nonsense that has flooded news sites over the past 24 hours (and probably will later today as well). We don’t want to link or send traffic to sites/articles that spread misinformation; we also wish not to amplify their misleading claims (mischaracterising the problem). So instead we use humour. Not many people know how Conservative or Republican Microsoft is; even Bill Gates has his affinity for these people. A lot of people who work for Microsoft lean to the right; it’s hardly surprising that Microsoft works so hard to get Pentagon and ICE contracts. Those aren’t accidents. Microsoft as a company believes in what it does. Regarding WSL, there’s no goodwill there; it’s an attack and if one researches the views of people who work on WSL, then one quickly discovers that they actually dislike GNU/Linux. They want to dominate (as in control/tame) it, not to support or help it. Misusing words like “love” is the perfect deception; look what they did ahead of the GitHub takeover.

What companies state publicly is almost never the same as what is true. Being distrusting, dismissive and sceptical of their marketing/PR people is a survival skills. Ask not what they want you to ‘know’ (think is the right term, it’s perception management) but what they desperately try to hide, especially when they feel pain.

06.16.20

[Humour] Toy Operating System From Wintendo (Microsoft)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Humour, Microsoft, Windows at 7:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

odd1sout vs computer chess: Windows Uptime: 10 days; GNU/Linux Users

Summary: GNU/Linux users take far too much for granted; for everything else, there’s mastercard

06.14.20

[Humour] Only Drug Dealers and Proprietary Software Vendors… (Call You a ‘User’)

Posted in Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 1:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.”

Bill Gates (real quote)

Worst pirate three panes: All our users are pirates... But you see?... GNU/Linux doesn't call people 'pirates' and 'users' like a drug dealer

Summary: While Microsoft is busy calling ordinary folks ‘pirates’ and ‘users’ (drug lords use that term to refer to their clients, whom they unjustly control by coercive means) GNU/Linux is more than happy to give everything away and share the software

To Better Understand Why Microsoft is Laying Off Staff (and Stopped Hiring Any) Check the Charts Net Applications and Other Microsoft Spinners Distract From

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 12:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: No, GNU/Linux Isn’t at 3% and Windows Isn’t at Over 90%, Either

A Microsoft fall

Android vs Microsoft

Summary: At the back end and the front end (server side/client side alike) Microsoft continues its trajectory towards irrelevance — an objectively simple fact that it likes to deny (while its friends at Net Applications carry on pretending that Windows somehow commands about 90% of the market)

TROLLS like Microsoft Lunduke tell us that "Linux sucks" (when it does not; the evidence is not on their side) and actively belittle its importance (same for Android). The headlines are “Is Linux Marketshare Rising? (Spoiler: It’s Actually Dropping)” and “Study: Android Users Are The Most Unhappy” (just clickbait). But as always, in this age of PR and spin, one must work a little harder to find/unearth what these people try to distract from. So we’ve taken screenshots of surveyors the corporate media doesn’t pay attention to (not convenient when measured properly, as opposed to selectively).

“So we’ve taken screenshots of surveyors the corporate media doesn’t pay attention to (not convenient when measured properly, as opposed to selectively).”To be perfectly frank, it doesn’t take a genius to see what we’re dealing with here. For a little while Lunduke seemed like he was supporting GNU/Linux, but watch his output as of late (annotated below, many are just reprints of old articles of his). We noted it getting worse in recent months and discussed it internally:

Lunduke FUD

Microsoft romantics? Indeed. Mind you, dear reader, much of what’s in between the Microsoft stuff (always positive stuff!) is just old stuff of his, archived in his personal site, along with comics and topic-less podcasts. Yes, pretty much aimless. No wonder his channel lost following and suddenly he’s back to provocation and trolling. Gets him more hits:

Notice how that one anti-Linux video netted him more views (77k) than 2 months of his videos’ views combined:

Lunduke's troll video

The economics of trolling/lying are well understood. We leave below Microsoft’s own words… (when you lack market share you focus on ‘mindshare’ instead — the mere illusion of importance)

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

06.13.20

The Economy ‘Reopens’ the Day After Tomorrow and Here’s Why GNU/Linux Growth Will Persist

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 8:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As Britain is poised to open ‘non-essential’ services and stores not much will change; the encouraging current trend will persist

Reopened store

Summary: It seems reasonable to assert that at this stage the growing domination of GNU/Linux is unstoppable and underhanded tactics will be exploited to purposely hijack the movement, in effect taking control of one’s competitors

AFTER nearly 3 months of lock-down (in Britain at least, we’re always at the UK’s second-largest city in terms of productivity) things might change informally. Informally only. Because people still lack confidence to leave their homes for noncritical purchases, such as food (some people don’t even leave the home to buy food anymore). So the day after tomorrow we open up… to the Second Wave. I am not particularly excited, knowing people will ‘mingle’ as they enter stores, potentially passing around not only germs but also one particularly lethal virus (to which we still lack a solution other than isolation that limits/contains its spread). We just need some computer equipment to replace what stopped working during lock-down (two mice, one screen). My wife and I are both working from home, so we depend heavily on technology.

“This will boost the morale of many GNU/Linux and Free software developers.”Seeing that for several consecutive months GNU/Linux market share rose, apparently by quite a bit (I don’t trust the Microsoft-connected firms, including Net Applications), it’s not surprising that Dell, Lenovo and several other OEMs — both large and small — massively advertise laptops with GNU/Linux preloaded. This is undoubtedly better than those OEMs offering no option other than Windows (even if we dislike some of these OEMs). This will boost the morale of many GNU/Linux and Free software developers. It will increase the number of users who are exposed to and favour Free-as-in-freedom software.

“Despite the ordeals and the endless legal attacks on it, a large community of developers and users — a growing community in fact — made SCO’s and Microsoft’s strategy unbearable and unsustainable.”When it comes to GNU/Linux I’ve long been an optimist, despite being a pessimist by nature (our contributor figosdev is a lot more pessimistic than me). I’ve advocated GNU/Linux since I was a teenager, more so since my early twenties. Back then I was really genuinely concerned that GNU/Linux might go the way of the dodo, seeing some of the attacks that predated the Novell deal. There was a lot to be worried about back then. I could not always play videos on S.u.S.E., my Web browser kind of sucked (an old version of Mozilla browser, well before Firefox), and lots of software and games could not at all be used, not even with WINE. Back then I used Konqueror at times; many sites were MSIE-only. Nowadays I use Konqueror as my secondary if not primary browser and always it’ll render pages correctly (except perhaps 1% of cases, especially hostile sites that I don’t care about anyway).

I don’t consider the maturity of GNU/Linux to be a matter of luck. Despite the ordeals and the endless legal attacks on it, a large community of developers and users — a growing community in fact — made SCO’s and Microsoft’s strategy unbearable and unsustainable. Microsoft bled as it fought GNU/Linux (it still does, but differently). At this point GNU/Linux is unstoppable, but the shape of it remains to be determined. Whether it has DRM, whether it’s just another ramp for proprietary games (like Steam), whether we have a modular UNIX-like system or just Microsoft-hosted systemd…

“So people are going to download loads of Free software — browsers included — and eventually it might lead them to GNU/Linux, knowing they get a lot of stuff done over the Web browser anyway.”A lot of people still work from home and will continue to work from home… for the foreseeable future. Many still get more freedom and choice when it comes to their operating environment because they own the computers and it’s harder to police what they install (they’re ‘offsite’ so to speak). So people are going to download loads of Free software — browsers included — and eventually it might lead them to GNU/Linux, knowing they get a lot of stuff done over the Web browser anyway. The tightening of domestic budgets will have families gravitating towards GNU/Linux at the very least for cost-saving reasons. The tightening of corporate budgets will have a similar effect.

The press sort of ‘missed’ the true story (it wrote some fluff about “HEY HI” instead), but Microsoft imposed a hiring freeze and then started laying off employees. Sales aren’t going well (some of the biggest clients are large workplaces that overpay for crap they don’t even need) and the hype about “cloud” going up is false; it’s fake, but ZDNet is happy to promote all the lies Microsoft tells its shareholders. If you rebrand a product called “A” as “B” and “B” is classified as “cloud”, does that mean massive growth? No, only a fool would believe that. Even the chief of ZDNet started to have some questions about that

“Watch out as Hamburg and Munich (and other parts of Germany) join China, South Korea and several other countries (with a particularly strong economy) that gradually move everything away from Windows.”Every country around the world (bar few) will soon ‘reopen’ the so-called ‘economy’ (they define that as stuff like centralised, shared offices and stores with a fancy floorplan). Some already have. Did that stop GNU/Linux from growing? Evidence does not suggest so.

Almost 5 years after the “Microsoft loves Linux” media tour and WSL (EEE) the numbers are still pathetic and I hardly come across anyone who uses Azure. We work with many clients and not a single one of them uses Azure in any shape or form whatsoever. Not even one. Ignore the hype and the fake numbers. Microsoft will get more aggressive and will lay off more workers in months to come (even if the media fails to report these layoffs). GNU/Linux will continue to grow gradually; but let’s make sure it’s not being monopolised by Amazon/AWS or IBM. Canonical is still a laughing stock and the same is true for SUSE. They act as if they need Microsoft to succeed. Hardly a new thing…

Watch out as Hamburg and Munich (and other parts of Germany) join China, South Korea and several other countries (with a particularly strong economy) that gradually move everything away from Windows. The media may not say much about it, but that’s alright; there’s no money in it. Instead the media will try to help Microsoft et al decapitate the movement, leaving power vacuums for G[I]AFAM to fill. Don’t let them… having run out of options, this is all they have left. Buying GitHub, buying NPM, bribing officials (still)…

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