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11.30.19

Windows (Vista 10) is Nowadays Being Sold as ‘Linux’

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 2:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

'Windows Terminal does the splits' so Microsoft can now do what gnu/linux did decades ago? Why do 'Linux news' sites push WINDOWS NEWS? Please remove

Summary: The tactic is working; over the course of Thanksgiving many sites that claim to be about GNU/Linux relayed Windows news, instead

10.05.19

The Slow Death of Technical Media

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 3:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SJVN and Swapnil

Summary: Those who work for corporate publishers, e.g. SJVN (Vaughan-Nichols) and Swapnil, aren’t loyal to facts as much as they’re loyal to their employers, very rich and well-connected people with an agenda deeply hostile towards Software Freedom

WE ARE still trying to get to grips with IRC logs (now published, as over a decade back, every day) because full transparency is important and we’re still seeing some new misleading articles about Richard Stallman, or RMS for short (see the bottom of the updates here; there are now over 20,000 views on this long page which documents the removal of RMS by dishonest ‘journalism’). This entire sad episode demonstrated the power of rogue ‘journalism’; so-called ‘journalism’ that doesn’t get even the most basic facts right (probably by intention, for agenda). Look what media did to Linus Torvalds last year and to RMS this year. In the name of “protecting women”… (corporate power was best served by the marginalisation of both men).

“Look what media did to Linus Torvalds last year and to RMS this year.”It should be noted that ZDNet also joined the defamation frenzy (slander of RMS); Vaughan-Nichols, who is associated with the Linux Foundation, did that too. We’ll remember that and we took note because nowadays he also spreads Microsoft talking points. There’s a whole bunch of them who work as corporate messengers disguised as ‘journalists’; Swapnil (in the above photo) told me he’s a ‘journalist’, but his site is littered with paid-for spam (ads disguised as articles). It’s a dumping site. It’s horrible.

We’ve become more or less accustomed to intentionally-dishonest media when covering the European Patent Office (EPO); António Campinos and Battistelli literally bribe the media for favourable coverage, just like Microsoft does. They just disguise the bribes as “business transactions”…

“So we’re left with spam or PR and charlatans who pretend to know what they cover.”This is all rather sad. Very sad. Journalism is dying a slow death. Technical journalism may be already dead (for years); technical people see no money in it, so they move elsewhere or start selling "tweets" for Jim Zemlin, a marketing person, to rake in millions of dollars in salaries, riding the coattails of Torvalds or his trademark. So we’re left with spam or PR and charlatans who pretend to know what they cover. Or pretend to be ‘journalists’ when all they really are (or have become) is glorified PR people. Look at yesterday’s news for example; earlier in the week Microsoft googlebombed “Linux” and “Android” to basically push a new Microsoft product and on Friday we saw “Windows Is No Longer ‘The Most Important Layer’ at Microsoft” (there was similarly poor ‘reporting’ and it’s really bad so links are omitted). Windows is doomed, so Microsoft pretends it’s a good thing and it’s googlebombing the opposition's name (Linux.com is sometimes more about Microsoft than about Linux, thanks to Swapnil). Microsoft ‘supports’ Linux like it ‘supports’ ODF (the OpenDocument Format). It’s all about themselves. It’s about monopoly and control.

Readers can feel or say whatever they want about Phoronix but it’s one of the last remaining sites that do technical journalism (it’s not perfect, but usually it’s OK and the sole author is technical).

“Who’s going to sue? Certainly not the Linux Foundation, which is too busy badmouthing the GPL.”Going back to ZDNet, not only does the site repeat Microsoft propaganda; it also habitually lies about security of GNU/Linux and there are debunkings that show/prove these to be fabrications. Who’s going to sue? Certainly not the Linux Foundation, which is too busy badmouthing the GPL. Yes, they even badmouth the licence of Linux itself. They don’t care about Linux; they just use the name to sell their services.

Larry Dignan, who manages ZDNet, has killed the site’s integrity; not that it ever had much to begin with. He turned it into a Microsoft-leaning tabloid that slanders GNU/Linux, misleads on Free software, and uncritically parrots Microsoft talking points, including “Microsoft loves Linux”. The parent company, CBS, should assess whether it wants a news site or propaganda channel. It should be noted that Larry Dignan also fired FOSS writers (the sole author of what used to be their “Open Source” section). The site then hired from Microsoft, even current employees of the company. There’s no ethics there at all. Yesterday they ended up putting pure Vista 10 ‘spam’ (marketing/promotional articles) in the Open Source and Linux RSS feed! Zero relevance to either of those things. Corrupt sites die when things like these are being noticed and this was not the first time; they did it several times recently. They actually misuse the Linux and Open Source sections to intentionally misfile Microsoft spam.

ZDNet isn’t alone in this; CNET (also a CBS site) does the same thing and notice how corporate media (a CBS site in this new example/case) gives disproportionate coverage to Microsoft filesystems in Linux rather than proper, native, patent restrictions-free ones.

“When we speak of Microsoft ads/marketing budget we basically speak of bribery budget for media/news sites.”Suffice to say, this corruption is very much paid for. It’s the business model. Those who don’t “play ball” get fired (or get no further assignments). When we speak of Microsoft ads/marketing budget we basically speak of bribery budget for media/news sites. Bill Gates does the same through his fake ‘charity’. That helps reduce criticism of his bad deeds (e.g. his recently-disclosed links to sexual predation of children).

“The Microsoft Register,” as our reader called it, is also part of the problem. “Is there a contest as to how not to mention Malware in relation to Microsoft Windows,” a reader asked. “See this Register story [by Shaun Nichols in San Francisco] for an example. I would post a retraction except my posts get permanently stuck in moderation. Same with the Microsoft Slashdot and the Microsoft ZDNet.

“Must be the “advertising” money, you should do a story on it.”

“If there’s “no money” in telling the truth and all the money comes from telling lies, then we’re in a very bad situation.”Why does The Register not mention that this is a Microsoft Windows problem? And more importantly, is The Register now censoring comments to defend Microsoft from its critics?

An associate of ours noted this morning: “I used to be an avid fan [of The Register] until around 2003 or early 2004 when they made a small, quiet announcement about joining Microsoft. I wish I had kept the link. Their content turned to shit within a week and a half. I probably haven’t linked to them since (in any context) and very, very rarely even look at the headlines let alone the first paragraph or two so I am wondering if anything had improved there. I guess not.”

If there’s “no money” in telling the truth and all the money comes from telling lies, then we’re in a very bad situation. Phoronix has been begging for membership money (readers’ financial help) lately; such a shame that a very hard-working person (maybe 100+ hours per week) has to resort to that.

09.28.19

No, GNU/Linux Does Not Need Proprietary Software From Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 12:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Weeks ago: Microsoft’s Plan for Linux is to Make it Proprietary Software With ‘Surveillance Capitalism’

Windows Refugee, Microsoft Spyware, and GNU/Linux

Summary: People don’t escape Microsoft Windows to just get more of Microsoft; but media close to Microsoft leverages the “Linux” brand to promote Microsoft

JUST over a fortnight ago Microsoft bombarded the word “Linux” to promote proprietary software that spies on people. It was vapourware of course and Microsoft seems to be doing that again; back then it was Teams, now it’s Edge. We’ve sadly seen not just Microsoft-friendly sites like Neowin [1] playing ball but also “OMG Ubuntu” [2] and longtime Microsoft propagandist (and liar) Bogdan Popa at Softpedia [3]. Microsoft apparently thinks GNU/Linux users will volunteer to test proprietary software of Microsoft. These people are either dreaming or lying (they often do; they also paste the lie “Microsoft loves Linux” habitually). An anti-Linux trolling site [4] soon joined in.

“Microsoft apparently thinks GNU/Linux users will volunteer to test proprietary software of Microsoft.”Phoronix and few other sites [5] later promoted some PowerShell nonsense (in relation to “Linux”). When the media speaks of “command line interface” [6] it now means Windows only.

Why are some so-called ‘Linux’ sites celebrating the mere possibility of proprietary software from Microsoft (based on Free software which is already better) coming to GNU/Linux? Why would any GNU/Linux user choose Edge over Chromium, for example? It seems like Microsoft googlebombing and brand dilution. Search for “Linux” news, get Microsoft news instead.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft is trying to bring the Chromium-based Edge to Linux
  2. Microsoft Edge for Linux Just Got a Lot More Likely
  3. Microsoft Wants to Launch Chromium Edge Browser on Linux, And It Needs Your Help
  4. Microsoft Wants Your Feedback on the Edge Browser for Linux
  5. Microsoft Developer Shows Linux Commands Seamlessly Integrated Within Windows PowerShell
  6. Take command of your computer with a command line interface

09.15.19

‘Open Source’ You Cannot Run Without Renting or ‘Licensing’ Windows From Microsoft

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Security, Vista 10, Windows at 8:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

“[Windows Vista DRM] seems a bit like breaking the legs of Olympic athletes and then rating them based on how fast they can hobble on crutches.“

Peter Gutmann

Summary: When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?

What good is “open source” that needs a back-doored, proprietary software (i.e. back doors cannot be removed) operating system with spying and DRM just to run it? We recently wrote about this kind of situation, offering examples from both Apple and Microsoft.

“And they say “soon open source” without specifying a licence or anything.”Here comes another new example from GHacks (lots of those lately; mostly from this site). “Sandboxie, a sandbox program for Microsoft’s Windows operating system, has been turned into a free application.” Freeware. And they say “soon open source” without specifying a licence or anything. Might as well turn out to be vapourware at the end…

Tabloid troll Catalin Cimpanu is already openwashing this proprietary software based on a promise from Sophos alone. Let’s rejoice “open source” that runs only on Windows. CBS and its tabloid ZDNet are once again proving to be Microsoft propaganda and this article comes from the person who constantly slanders Linux. Help Net Security said: “Sophos plans to open-source Sandboxie, a Windows utility that allows users to run apps in a sandbox. Until that happens, they’ve made the utility free.”

“When “open source” runs only on a proprietary platform with NSA back doors what is it really worth?”BetaNews — just like the above — put “open source” in the headline even though it’s only freeware. Great! And even though it’s Windows only; just like Steve Ballmer wanted…

When “open source” runs only on a proprietary platform with NSA back doors what is it really worth? Is it good for anything? Also, it’s not security; just illusion of it…

They claim that these applications improve security, but these applications only run on a platform with NSA back doors. Here’s another new example, this one of an “app” that only runs on iOS. “If you’re looking for an alternative for Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, LastPass Authenticator, or Authy, you may want to give Authenticator a chance,” it says. How does that improve security? The underlying operating system has well known back doors. The company that monopolised maintainer-ship works with the NSA and is in the PRISM spy programme. Ed Snowden’s leaks provided actual evidence and 2 years ago Wikileaks added more with Vault 7.

“Notice that all the above are security-oriented programs but not a single platform without NSA back doors is supported.”A similar example was covered 3 days ago by GHacks: “WinOTP Authenticator is an open-source alternative for WinAuth”

The “Win” means Windows; it means you lose security. You lose privacy. When “open source” runs only under proprietary software stacks with NSA back doors, such as Vista 10 (strictly in this case), a vendor can only pretend it offers security…

One of the virtues extolled by Free software proponents is superior security; well, how much do such claims hold when one must rent (license, temporarily) a bunch of dodgy binaries from NSA partners to run the said program/s? Notice that all the above are security-oriented programs but not a single platform without NSA back doors is supported.

09.05.19

A Linux Foundation Without Linux-Using Staff

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The meat-eating ‘vegan society’

Linux Foundation is sucking the life out of Linux

Summary: The Linux Foundation is sucking the life out of Linux, for a profit…

THE Linux Foundation is not dedicated to Linux any more than its pertinent members, which are mostly proprietary giants…

In that regard, Foundation members might be absolutely fine with that. They already dominate the Board.

“Linux is a powerful brand and if this misuse of this brand continues, its value will diminish.”The seniors at the Foundation think that Linux sucks, e.g. on laptops/desktops! They only use its name (trademark) for their openwashing services

Linux is a powerful brand and if this misuse of this brand continues, its value will diminish. Its image will wane. What does “Linux” even mean when Microsoft calls its own, Vista 10, "Linux" (or WSL).

Yesterday we learned, based on a new “tweet”, that the sole editor of a Web site called Linux.com uses Xbox and Microsoft’s Vista 10. Running a Web site called Linux.com while using Windows is like running a Web site called EcoWatch while promoting tobacco (true story by the way!).

“Yesterday we learned, based on a new “tweet”, that the sole editor of a Web site called Linux.com uses Xbox and Microsoft’s Vista 10.”The person’s name isn’t what’s important*; let’s just say that yesterday he wrote about Microsoft’s ‘gift’ to Linux (“exFAT Is Coming to Linux”). exFAT has nothing to do with or in Linux; it’s about lousy copycats with bugs, not Microsoft’s proprietary and secret implementation of it; it’s not a working implementation but some inferior ("horrible," according to Linux developers) code. Same as happened with OOXML, which Microsoft itself never bother implementing.

To the people of the Linux Foundation Linux is, at best, a ‘side dish’. So they won’t care as long as Microsoft, a big sponsor, is pleased. Microsoft is at the top of the list of the Foundation’s sponsors, as absurd as that is.

“To the people of the Linux Foundation Linux is, at best, a ‘side dish’.”Is this a problem?

It certainly is.

Embrace. Extend. Extinguish? Maybe. Not before Microsoft owns (or controls) Linux, which it tried to destroy many times (but always failed). According to this morning’s article from Phoronix about a Clear Linux survey: “By far the most used development tool was Visual Studio Code at 37.6%! That was quite surprising to see the Microsoft IDE coming out well ahead of Qt Creator at 8% and others like Intellij, Eclipse, Android Studio, GNOME Builder, and others. ”

Phoronix has a misleading headline; it cites a survey of just a couple hundred people choosing to use a lousy distro from a back doors giant; that’s what Clear Linux is (it’s not representative of GNU/Linux as a whole). So they obviously don’t care about Software Freedom. Earlier this week Linux.com actually promoted some rubbish about Visual Studio Code, together with proprietary software (SQL Server).
___
* The name is Swapnil Bhartiya, but he doesn’t want his name mentioned. I didn’t respond to Swapnil after many abusive tweets he had sent me (maybe 8 in a row ignored by me). Now he blocks me in Twitter, where I ignore him anyway. Pathetic. Just like Jim Zemlin did. I’m not sure what Zemlin expected when he put Windows/Microsoft fans in charge of a site called Linux.com. Critics of it? BLOCKED. Just like Zemlin did. I’m also blocked by him. Not open for criticism/critics. Trying to hide from them instead.

Linux.com is run by a person who — going by his very own bio — currently works as a “science fiction writer.” Yes, lies are a form of fiction. Like openwashing proprietary software…

Like the notorious Laura DiDio with her fictional writings about houses ‘haunted’ by ‘ghosts’ (she actually meant that). She wrote fake stuff whilst attacking Linux through the Yankee Group.

At the Linux Foundation people’s past/background is mostly omitted; There’s no sign of eduction or formal training in technology. Jim Zemlin told Swapnil upfront in this public interview: “I have a very weak technical background.”

People with no grasp of technology and no suitable background (e.g. education in technology) dominate the Linux Foundation, where a tiny portion of the total budget goes to actual techies. The Linux Foundation being run by people with no background in technology isn’t an innocent ‘anomaly’. That’s like a car salesman who never drove a car and does not have a car.

Well anyway, Linux.com is a misleading domain name because it’s no longer about Linux and usually it’s not about Open Source, either. Here’s an example from yesterday. Does Swapnil know that both companies are 100% proprietary software and nothing to do with GNU/Linux (he probably doesn’t; and doesn’t care)? This morning he promoted a Windows-only laptop.

08.31.19

Linux is Not Free/Libre If DRM is Adopted and Open Source is Meaningless in the Age of Openwashing

Posted in Deception, DRM, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Kernel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Vista, Windows at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Welcome to ‘Linux Vista’ and Open-for-business Source (for some parts, for the openwashing factor)

HDCP

Summary: Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and (GNU/)Linux don’t quite change the world as much as they’re being changed by monopolies (software, hardware and entertainment) to suit their agenda and eliminate any remnants of freedom

WHEN we say that Software Freedom is under attack we mean exactly that. We’re under attack; our rights and our dignity are under a heavy assault. We’re gradually losing control of everything digital. We become enslaved by technology, which rather than emancipate people devolves into a tool of oppression and imprisonment. Surveillance is one among many aspects of this.

“We become enslaved by technology, which rather than emancipate people devolves into a tool of oppression and imprisonment.”The harms of DRM are well documented, as are the effects of the DMCA. In the distant past (Windows Vista era) Microsoft colluded with hardware companies to put DRM in Windows and nowadays Google does the same to Linux (having already done the same to the WWW along with Microsoft and Neflix for the most part). It’s the evil DRM, not Direct Rendering (same acronym), which is mostly benign. According to this new post from Phoronix, AMD is doing the 'Intel thing' (which has done that with Vista/Microsoft and ChromeOS/Google). First the back doors (ME), now this…

To quote:

AMD developers have sent out their latest open-source Linux patches doing their kernel driver share for enabling High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) support for version 1.4 and newer.

While seeing HDCP support patches for open-source graphics drivers does irritate many in the community, similar to other open-source drivers supporting HDCP, this is only one part of the content protection puzzle. These patches alone do not impose any restrictions on users or other impairments, but mainly comes down to such proprietary software wanting to make use of HDCP capabilities on Linux. Open-source video players and the like can continue to enjoy GPU-based video acceleration uninterrupted.

[...]

Intel’s open-source Linux graphics driver only began seeing HDCP work relatively recently when Google engineers were interested with the Intel support in the context of Chromebook support.

All the news sites are still busy writing puff pieces about exFAT (at this stage we just skip these repetitive articles); no attention has been paid (or will be paid) to the issue above — an issue we investigated by analysing the kernel some months ago.

“The harms of DRM are well documented, as are the effects of the DMCA.”Make no mistake about it; Google surely spreads Linux, but at the same time it changes it in troubling ways. Yesterday/earlier today opensource.com promoted Google’s openwashing of its surveillance code — a subject that we covered in our previous Openwashing Report or two. To quote:

Developers at search engine giant Google have been busy on the open source front lately. In the last two weeks, they’ve released two very different systems as open source.

The first of those is the speech engine for Live Transcribe, a speech recognition and transcription tool for Android, which “uses machine learning algorithms to turn audio into real-time captions” on mobile devices. Google’s announcement states it is making Live Transcribe open source to “let any developer deliver captions for long-form conversations.”

Google is using this for surveillance, but we’re supposed to be all cheerful and gleeful because “open!”

“Red Hat’s opensource.com (above) actively participates in openwashing and Red Hat as a whole seem to have hired too many people from Microsoft, including managers.”We’ll do another Openwashing Report later this weekend. It’s a growing problem. It’s telling us that “open source” has “won”; what they mean by “won”, however, is co-opted by proprietary frameworks such as AWS, Azure, various spying devices that are dubbed “smart” and even totally meaningless mumbo-jumbo like "serverless". Some of our readers keep insisting that it’s time for the FSF to fight back.

Red Hat’s opensource.com (above) actively participates in openwashing and Red Hat as a whole seem to have hired too many people from Microsoft, including managers. It nearly sold itself to Microsoft and it promoted an Azure thing just before the weekend (we mentioned this in our daily links and it's not the first time).

What is going on? Have we lost sight of the fact that some companies strive to destroy Software Freedom?

“How long before we can call it “exterminate” or “extinguish”?”opensource.com has just published this article from Karl Fogel and James Vasile (we assume one of them is from Microsoft, but the bio was left empty). Microsoft executives — i.e. those who attack Open Source more than anyone — now try to hijack the narrative around its competition (speaking ‘for’ what it’s attacking). See paragraph 4: “Now we have a chance to have this discussion in a more regular and complete way: Microsoft has asked us to do a series of blog posts about open source, and the request was essentially “help organizations get better at open source” (not a direct quote, but a reasonable summary). They were very clear about the series being independent; they did not want editorial control and specifically did not want to be involved in any pre-approval before we publish a post. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, just so there’s no doubt, that the views we express in the series may or may not be shared by Microsoft.”

So a site called opensource.com is now being composed by/for Microsoft. How long before we can call it “exterminate” or “extinguish”? When will Microsoft ‘own’ Linux as much as it ‘owns’ the Linux Foundation? The Foundation has just outsourced some more projects to GitHub, i.e. to Microsoft. We put links about that in our daily roundup.

We’re being told that FOSS “won”; actually, software monopolies have “won” (read: dominate) FOSS. Who’s in control?

08.27.19

Computers Becoming Disposable

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 1:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ZimmerSummary: People’s control over their own computers is being taken away; the model of rental better describes many of today’s purchases

IT HAS long been the case that computers are sold with an operating system rather than tested for a variety of them and handed over for the user to install one (of the user’s choosing). The bundling of operation systems has been an enabler of Microsoft’s monopoly, which pursued tying Windows to hardware and called everything else “naked PC” or “piracy”.

But there may be an even bigger problem, exacerbated in part by so-called ‘smart’phones, tablets and things such as Chromebooks. There seems to be no obligtation whatsoever to keep them updated for more than a few years; after that the users are left unable to upgrade the operating system and installing something else is technically difficult. There’s the expectation that this hardware will then be treated as ‘obsolete’ or “End of Life”, only for a new machine to be purchased to replace perfectly fine hardware. Of course the more technical people might choose to install GNU/Linux or otherwise deal with a critically vulnerable and out-of-date operating system that was never designed for security anyway.

“…there may be an even bigger problem, exacerbated in part by so-called ‘smart’phones, tablets and things such as Chromebooks.”What is Chrome OS anyway? Built on top of GNU/Linux or based on Gentoo, Chrome OS is designed to (mostly) spy on users and when it speaks of “Linux” it’s mostly just reinventing the wheel, allowing users to get back what they’d otherwise get on a platform such as Gentoo, including free updates, upgrades, maybe rolling releases.

Chromebooks were traditionally used to exchange the data invasion for subsidies that made these laptops somewhat cheaper, but at the higher end this is not the case. Announced yesterday, for instance, was this grossly overpriced product:

Google today announced a slew of Chrome Enterprise updates, including a faster Google Admin console and managed Linux environments. The company also unveiled the first Chromebook Enterprise laptops: Dell’s Latitude 5300 for $819 and Latitude 5400 for $699.

In August 2017, Google launched Chrome Enterprise for $50 per managed Chromebook per year. The subscription gives Chromebooks enterprise features like advanced security protections and fleet management. Today’s updates are Google’s latest push to bring Chrome OS to more businesses.

How long before the users are alerted that these are no longer supported and another expensive machine must be purchased to comply with business regulations?

“My laptop’s age is 10 and modern distributions can easily be installed on it without having to tinker with bootloaders, BIOS and such.”This is sadly becoming somewhat of a ‘norm’ — a normalcy wherein machines become ‘disposable’ even when they’re very expensive (almost a thousand bucks). There’s an envionmental impact.

My laptop’s age is 10 and modern distributions can easily be installed on it without having to tinker with bootloaders, BIOS and such.

The idea that Chrome OS can break Microsoft or end a Windows monopoly is a convenient one. But what are we striving to replace Windows with if not something that’s based on Linux but offers no freedom (libre)?

As somebody put it in a comment yesterday:

The battle is won, but the war is lost…

Everything runs on OSS these days, but the Libre part of it is missing more than ever. The biggest issue I see is the issue of “ownership”.
Physical ownership: I own my phone, my car, my house.
Virtual ownership: I own my data.

Streaming services are a case in point. You rent everything for $xx a month. If an actor becomes a persona non grata, and data with them is scrubbed (Think the Kevin Spacey situation, and, per events in march 2019, maybe upcoming with Michael Jackson), you don’t have access to it anymore.
Another case in point is Amazon’s removal of purchased e-books of 1984 from Kindle devices (in 2009, if memory serves).
You can’t (easily) rewrite a book purchased in paper form. You can rewrite an ebook.

The formula (Personal Hardware) + (Free Software) = (Digital Freedom) is more important than ever, but we do need to focus more on the Personal hardware part, and I agree it is part of a greater issue…

Control over one’s own hardware (that one pays for) is being diminished over time and with it the expectation of ownership as opposed to rent. We’re becoming mere tenants of what we’re paying a full price for.

08.04.19

Microsoft’s War on the Right to Repair (One’s Own Computers) Makes Lundgren an ‘Enemy’ to Microsoft

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 12:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Overview

Microsoft’s Declaration of War on Recyclers

  • Part 4: Microsoft Being Microsoft, Bullying Everyone Who Reduces Microsoft’s Profits
  • You are here ☞ Part 5: Microsoft’s War on the Right to Repair (One’s Own Computers) Makes Lundgren an ‘Enemy’ to Microsoft
  • Part 6: Damage Control Mode: Satya Nadella Fleeing Lundgren After Realising What Microsoft Had Done
  • Part 7: Slander and Libel From Microsoft (Demonising the Victim)
  • Part 8: Similar High-Profile ‘Bargains’ (Aaron Swartz and Marcus Hutchins)

The Legal Aftermath

Pending review and research

Microsoft killed RightToRepair

Summary: Microsoft killed legislation that allows people to repair their own computers and gadgets (that they paid full price for), so why not also destroy the life of a prominent recycler who helps hardware repairs at a vast scale (reducing demand for new electronics with new Microsoft Windows licences)?

TECHRIGHTS recently embarked on this series which may seem like old news even though some of the material is new. There’s new information and all material has rock-solid sources. We’ll also be posting proof, evidence, court material etc. There’s no lack of it. The Washington Post’s coverage of the Eric Lundgren case dealt with what happened last year and the year before that (see “Eric Lundgren, ‘e-waste’ recycling innovator, faces prison for trying to extend life span of PCs” and “How did this advocate of e-waste reuse end up behind bars?). The Verge explained that by attacking Eric Lundgren Microsoft very well knew that it attacked everyone who recycled old PCs (“E-waste guru going to prison says cracking down on refurbishers is ‘harmful to society’). The Verge, formerly edited by Bill Gates, unfortunately ended up amplifying Microsoft. On the same day it published a headline that contained Microsoft’s deliberate lie (‘he was counterfeiting Windows software’). Even Microsoft knew this was false, but again, this is Microsoft. Facts don’t matter. Only profits matter. As we shall explain in a moment, Microsoft’s attack on Lundgren was very much consistent with the company’s disdain if not sheer hatred of recycling in general. Lundgren and Microsoft are philosophically and ethically opposed.

“I currently support #RightToRepair,” Eric Lundgren told me after I had asked him about Software Freedom, e.g. use of GNU/Linux on recycled machines. “I currently support PIRG.” To quote the site: “Most of us have dozens of electronic devices in our lives, from smart phones and home computers, to inkjet printers and flat screen TVs. Things don’t last like they used to—a tiny broken part or outdated software can mean the end of the road, and the life spans seem to get shorter and shorter. This endless cycle of make, use, replace, and throw away may be good for the electronics companies’ bottom line, but when we stop and consider the impacts on the environment, and the threat to our health, it just makes no sense.

Scroll down a just a little bit to find “TELL MICROSOFT: DON’T PUNISH RECYCLERS” (PIRG supports Lundgren in return, sending the love back). Lundgren is extremely popular among recyclers, but Microsoft defamed him to that effect (trying to portray him as a foe or a threat to the recyclers’ world). We’ll come to that later in this series. The demonisations were rather outlandish and way beyond insulting. Lundgren still thinks about suing over it. These psychological attacks (fabricating things and making up stuff to dehumanise the victim) have long-lasting effects.

To quote that page (the relavent part): “Microsoft pressed criminal charges against Eric Lundgren for making restore disks that allow people to fix old computers—even though the software on those disks is available online for free. We need to stand up for repair—or risk a chilling effect on repair and refurbishing, a key strategy to reducing electronic waste.”

It cannot be stressed strongly enough that recyclers support Lundgren; Microsoft tried driving a wedge between him and other recyclers. Did that work? Not exactly, but it served to show just how evil Microsoft still is. The only lesson here is that Microsoft would do anything to destroy critics. Last month we presented many other examples (Microsoft phoning people’s bosses, trying to get these people fired because of their stance on Microsoft). Microsoft is a bully incorporated into company form. It acts like a violent cult.

Further down PIRG tell “Eric Lundgren’s Story”:

Eric Lundgren is a recycling entrepreneur, and has made it his mission to extend the life cycle of used electronics. At age 19, he started a company that takes discarded electronics and rebuilds them into new, functional devices, thereby diverting working electronics from landfills. He even built the world’s longest-range electric car out of electronic waste, or e-waste, and set the world record for distance on a single charge.

Lundgren developed a strong passion for this cause in his twenties when he decided to follow America’s exported e-waste. He witnessed the harmful and toxic effects e-waste landfills had on people living in China, India and Africa at that time. It was clear that we needed to do more to keep toxic e-waste to a minimum.

But, Lundgren is heading to prison for providing restore disks that allow people to fix their old computers. Even though this software is given to everyone who buys a computer with a licensed operating system and can be downloaded for free, Microsoft decided to press criminal charges against Lundgren for planning distributing the disks to help people keep their own computers running longer. Eric did put the Microsoft logo on the disk, which is a copyright violation, but since the software is available for free, it’s not clear how Microsoft could claim this is criminal violation. Why not just ask that he take their logo off the disks, which he would surely have agreed to do?

While this is an extreme example, it could set a dangerous precedent and result in a chilling effect on electronic refurbishing across the globe. We’re standing up for repair by calling on Microsoft to work with people who recycle—not criminalize them.

Together, we can make sure Eric is last person who faces prison for doing what we all need to do more of—repair and reuse.

“Best to be guided by your heart’s conviction,” Lundgren told me. He wants justice. He also wants to recycle. Both things can take a lot of time and effort, endless energy, leading to fatigue. Mental exhaustion may seem inevitable, but Lundgren is surrounded by a lot of supportive people, who love him and want to help him. They give him hope and motivation. Microsoft was unable to change that (it tried hard). Worse — Microsoft is just making more enemies. Its attacks on Lundgren will backfire in a very big way.

“Microsoft fights the right to repair,” I told Lundgren. “The site Motherboard [among others] covered how Microsoft fought this legislation…”

“That is true,” he responded. “The founder of #RightToRepair told me all about it.”

And “that was months ago,” I continued, so “you probably could not read that at the time” (Lundgren was still in prison).

A lot of the media focused on Apple’s role (fighting the ‘Right to Repair’), e.g. [1, 2]. Lundgren heard all about it by now. He also mentioned the CEO of IFixIt.com. They have their rants about Microsoft-branded hardware (notoriously difficult to repair).

Cory Doctorow covered the issue back in April, a year after Lundgren’s time behind bars had commenced (Not just Apple: Microsoft has been quietly lobbying to kill Right to Repair bills). “I like Cory Doctorow,” Lundgren noted. “He is a smart dude!”

It’s also well within his ‘ballpark’. He wrote about digital obsolescence for decades. One article of interest comes from PIRG and is entitled “Microsoft named as stopping “Right to Repair” in Washington”. We linked to it at the time (when it was new). Here are some key passages:

In an interview on iFixit’s Repair Radio, Morris, who was the original sponsor of the bill last year, claimed that “word on the street” was that big tech companies, specifically Microsoft, “marshaled forces to keep the bill from moving out of the House Rules committee.”
Rep. Morris further claimed that, while he didn’t see the “smoking gun,” “there was a tax proposal here…to pay for STEM education.” Furthermore, “in exchange for Microsoft support[ing that tax,] having Right to Repair die…” was a condition, as well as another privacy policy Microsoft wanted to advance.
He shed some light on the kinds of things Microsoft lobbyists were doing, saying that last year, “Microsoft was going around telling our members that they wouldn’t sell Surface Tablets in Washington any longer if we passed the bill.”
In our own conversations about the opposition to Right to Repair in Olympia, Microsoft’s full-throated opposition was often brought up by legislators, and it was to clear to us that the company was lobbying extensively against the bill, and was the most high-profile opponent.
Across the country, large manufacturers like Microsoft and Apple tend to do much of their public opposition to Right to Repair through trade associations. Microsoft is among the manufacturers represented by trade groups like CompTIA, Consumer Technology Association, Information Technology Industry Council and the Entertainment Software Association, which are all active opponents to Right to Repair reforms.
These trade associations can mask the role of an individual company, but are one of the key ways the opposition works to defeat pro-consumer Right to Repair legislation. But the behind-the-scenes targeting of Right to Repair by Microsoft seemed to play a more significant role in the bill’s demise.

Microsoft has a complicated recent history on repair

Last year, electronics recycler Eric Lundgren went to prison for duplicating Dell restore discs, software meant to help fix old computers and that is free to download. Microsoft faced intense scrutiny for their actions in that case.
In response, U.S. PIRG delivered more than 11,000 petitions to Microsoft offices, calling for greater accountability for electronic waste disposal and easier access to the tools and information needed to repair products.
The case also brought attention to several other ways Microsoft makes it difficult for people to reuse its products: lobbying against Right to Repair laws, violating warranty regulations by attempting to forbid independent repair in warranty clauses and “void warranty if removed” stickers, and making several products which are notoriously difficult (if not impossible) to repair.
On the other hand, Microsoft has taken steps to help computer recycling and reduce waste, making a new operating system that runs smoothly on older devices, reducing the need for new upgrades. That’s no small step, and iFixit praised it at the time.

“According to State Rep. Jeff Morris, Microsoft played a leading role,” PIRG said (a role in killing the bill). Here’s the video in which it’s covered:

On occasions I asked Lundgren about rejecting Windows and just putting GNU/Linux on computers instead. “I’m all hardware via Recycling,” he emphasised. “Don’t really know too much about software.”

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