Bonum Certa Men Certa

Thirteen Years of Techrights This Year

Mark Webbink
Photo credit: Mark Webbink's image by Luca Lucarini, CC BY-SA 3.0



Summary: We're the survivor of a dying breed of sites, which are largely dedicated to FOSS-centric news

EARLIER this year Debian celebrated 26 years. That's pretty impressive considering the fact that the grandfather of GNU/Linux, Slackware, was having some issues in recent years and its founder sought to raise funds through Patreon some weeks ago. This distribution was created by Patrick Volkerding in 1993, whereas Debian was created about a month later by Ian Murdock. He founded the Debian Project on August 16, 1993.



So far in 2019 at least 3 noteworthy GNU/Linux distributions 'called it a day'. News sites covering GNU/Linux also suffered heavy casualties; these were some of the biggest sites, notably Linux Journal and Linux.com; few others became stagnant. It's part of the decline of media in general, not a problem with GNU/Linux in particular.

"So far in 2019 at least 3 noteworthy GNU/Linux distributions 'called it a day'. News sites covering GNU/Linux also suffered heavy casualties; these were some of the biggest sites, notably Linux Journal and Linux.com; few others became stagnant."The journey of Techrights began back in the days of Digg. Remember Digg.com? I certainly do. I was a Ph.D. student at the time and "social media" had just begun to catch on (prior to it I spent a lot of time in USENET newsgroups). In 2006 I met Shane on Digg, where we shared our concerns about the Novell deal with Microsoft. That's how a blog (back then dedicated to a Novell boycott) was born. Digg.com is still around, but it's in no way related to the original Digg, which stagnated and died within a few years. By 2009 or 2010 it was already quite irrelevant, partly (depending on one's interpretation) due to Facebook and Twitter, maybe even Reddit. Those three sites are still around. Back in 2006 we also shared concerns and views with Groklaw and Technocrat, the site of Bruce Perens (famous for Debian and OSI). Perens made a bit of a comeback, even in his own domain name, but that didn't quite replace his original project, the "Slashdot for grown-ups" which suffered an epic demise just like Slashdot itself. As for Groklaw, it too made a sort of comeback attempt, first with Mark Webbink, a former Red Hat employee (he's retired now; photo above), and then Pamela Jones (PJ) again. I spent years mailing her every day and her decision to 'disappear' from the Web was rather disappointing. Snowden's leaks did not reveal much that wasn't already known; they just provided hard proof for what many of us speculated about or cited other whistleblowers about (they didn't have the documentary evidence at hand, so NSA denials was simpler). At the same time Andy Updegrove's blog became less active (he's with the Linux Foundation now) and the Web as we knew it was transforming into Social Control Media, which is a lot of hearsay.

The media as a whole is being battered; and no, tabloids aren't media and channels like Fox News and CNN are mostly partisan feeding frenzy. They lack credibility and accuracy on a lot of topics -- typically those that get them many viewers, drawing them in based largely on emotion, not substance.

In a sense, we view ourselves as survivors of much turbulence. We don't rely on ads and we don't pay salaries; I work full time in a technical job, so I can afford to keep the site going in my spare time. No rich sponsors, no sellouts, no "affiliate" posts.

"In a sense, we view ourselves as survivors of much turbulence."It seems pretty certain we'll reach 15 years. 20 years might be a challenge, but at the moment it seems doable because we're growing. Our European Patent Office (EPO) coverage helped make a positive impact and this year we're gradually revisiting more and more aspects of GNU/Linux and Software Freedom. Some of the topics we covered nobody else dared cover. We have several important stories in the pipeline. Hopefully we won't have to see any more publishers in the area of FOSS (what's left of such publications) perishing and closing down. That creates an information vacuum that gives leeway to Microsoft's PR department and prevents introspection or self-assessment -- something sorely needed in today's tough terrain of GAFAM and Microsoft entryism.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Linux Months-Old News (LWN Uncorrected)
They could at least update the original
This Week Fedora Celebrates Diversity, But It is Pushing Proprietary Software and Censorship
IBM openwashing, perception management, and reputation laundering gone awry?
EU 'Chat Control' Law is Already Discrediting the Stated Goals of GDPR
Equip kids with always-on always-connected microphones and double-sided cameras, just to be safe...
 
Links 20/06/2024: Bruce Schneier Adds Moderation Policy, FUCKSHITUP Can't Be Trademarked in the US
Links for the day
Mass Layoffs Happening in IBM Subsidiaries, Almost No Media Exists Anymore (to Cover That)
They can drive people out with R.T.O. of lay off in small batches to prevent any media scrutiny
Links 20/06/2024: Trying to Maintain Health and the Implosion of LLM Bubble/Hype
Links for the day
Microsoft's Bing Share in Canada Has Only Decreased Since the LLM Hype ("Bing Chat")
According to statCounter
Gemini Links 20/06/2024: Golden Ticket and Looking for Web 1.0 Communities
Links for the day
Not Even TRYING to Compete With Microsoft
CMA (UK) ought to step in and investigate why Canonical (UK) refuses to even compete
Poul-Henning Kamp: Why Freedom in 'FOSS' Matters
Openwashing is more widely recognised as a growing problem
[Meme] EU Chat Control: The Problem is Too Much Privacy???
So what's with GDPR then? The EU is contradicting itself!
Lithuania: GNU/Linux Usage Climbs to Highest Level in Years
consistent abandonment of Microsoft
"Remarkably Little Had Changed."
Black or African American not even mentioned
Rumours That Nat Friedman (CEO) Was 'Fired' by GitHub/Microsoft
"Microsoft Refused to Fix Flaw Years Before SolarWinds Hack"
linuxsecurity.com: A Step in a Positive Direction
We hope that Guardian Digital and linuxsecurity.com will rectify the matter and persist with real articles
Links 20/06/2024: Somali Piracy Surges, Juneteenth Discussed
Links for the day
Gemini Links 20/06/2024: Gemini is 5 Today (Still No Gemlog Entry From its Founder)
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 19, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Morocco: GNU/Linux Surges From 0.1% to 4.21%
Microsoft has mass layoffs in Africa these days
[Meme] EU Chat Control II
Stuff like "Chat Control" means that GDPR will lose credibility and the true motives be rightly scrutinised/questioned
You're Only Proving Our Point, Sir
clearly obsessed with what we write
Just Because It Happened Over 20 Years Ago Doesn't Mean It's "Old News" or Stopped Happening
This strategy merely evolved
Thanking Solderpunk for 5 Years of Gemini Protocol
Long live Gemini Protocol and long live Solderpunk!
[Meme] He Who Controls the Boot
And licks the Microsoft boot
[Meme] systemd-recovery
Imagine "Linux" (Poetterix) becoming so unreliable that it needs factory resets
Almost Every Day This Month the GNU/Linux "Market Share" Grows in statCounter
Advocates like to see progress
Dawg, I Herd You Like Freedom
In the context of Software Freedom, little is ever said about free speech
Links 19/06/2024: Microsoft Faces Big Backlash, Bytedance Referred to US Department of Justice
Links for the day
Gemini Protocol Turns 5 in 15 Hours
Geminispace is still very much alive
OSI's Blog is Still 100% "AI" Nonsense Sponsored by Microsoft (the Authors Are Also Salaried by Microsoft)
The founder of the OSI no longer supports the OSI
Poland is Another Country Where Bing Lost a Lot of Market Share Since the LLM Gimmicks
down from 3.24% to 2.4%
Jean-Pierre Giraud, Possible Forgeries & Debian: elections, judgments, trademark already canceled, archaeologist
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
It Took Microsoft More Than 3 Years to Get a Quarter of Windows Users to 'Upgrade' to Vista 11 (3 Out of 4 Windows Users Still Reject It)
That is exactly what's happening right now
[Meme] The Empire
Don't be like Putin
They Want 'Transparency' Only for the General Public (Every Bit of Communication Available to the Government, Usually Via Corporations)
The EU might decide to effectively ban SSH
Justices Jeremy Johnson and Victoria Sharp to Decide the Fate of Julian Assange in About Three Weeks
Will he be back home in Australia by year's end?
Free Software Won't Fix Equality, But It Helps
Let's examine Free software in the context of: 1) money. 2) justice.
Treating Them as Teammates, Not as Political Props, Trophies, or Objects
Most of the world's people are women
Links 19/06/2024: SFTP and Gopher Milestone
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 18, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, June 18, 2024
US Surgeon General's Advice on Social Control Media (and "Smart" Phones) Seems Reasonable
People forget what the real world is about
Quiet at Planet Debian
planet.debian.org has not had any updates since 5 days ago
Belarus: Bing Fell From 1.1% to 0.6% Since Microsoft Started the LLM Hype (Yandex is 50 Times Bigger Than Bing)
Now enter Belarus
Morale at Microsoft Sinks to New Lows
The annual 'Employee Signals' survey showed a drop from 69% to 62% in positive responses
Microsoft Windows is Being Abandoned in the UK, Relative to Other Platforms (New All-Time Lows)
Windows at new lows
Links 18/06/2024: More Executives Leave Microsoft, Attacks on the Press in Russia and 'Exile'
Links for the day
[Meme] Always Livecasting
Wait Till Systemd-Recall
Australia: Bing Lost Market Share Since the LLM Hype ("Bing Chat")
Google rose, Bing went down
Gemini Links 18/06/2024: Unconscious Consumption and Firewall Autoban
Links for the day
[Meme] Canonical Has Basically Become Novell II
Today's Canonical...
While Everyone is Furious at Vista 11 (Over TPM, Recall and Other Malicious 'Features') Canonical is Selling It to People
So the only thing Canonical says about Windows is that you should give it a try?
Links 18/06/2024: Adobe and Internet Archive in Trouble
Links for the day
Peter Duffy Explains SystemD
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer!
[Meme] The Doyen and the Colonel
EPO continues to prioritise lawbreaking over knowledge
EPO Union Action: Next Week SUEPO The Hague and SUEPO Munich Talk About New Pension Scheme (NPS) and Salary Savings Plan (SSP)
So there are basically 32 days left for more people to intervene
[Meme] Wait Till Systemd-Recall
The only thing Linux still needs is a forensics backdoor
GNU/Linux Up This Month in India (or Why Famous Criminal Bill Gates Keeps Visiting Modi)
truth tends to catch up with people
Microsoft Poetterix is Work in Progress
Linux's New DRM Panic 'Blue Screen of Death' In Action
24/7 Work Discipline
it's not so much about how much (or how long) one works, it's about how one works and whether one feels comfortable doing it
Adamant Conformism is an Enemy of Science
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man"
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 17, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 17, 2024
Links 18/06/2024: Further Mass Layoffs and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
At IBM, "Brownnosing is the Norm."
Many of these comments are from IBM insiders
Myanmar/Burma: Google Gains One Percent, Microsoft Loses One Percent Since the LLM Hype ('Bing Chat')
it's not hard to understand LLMs didn't replace real search and didn't replace Google, either
[Meme] KISS, not SAAS
Gemini Protocol turns 5 in exactly 2 days
Hostageware: The Threat of Clown Computing (or 'SaaS', Another Misnomer or Buzzword) to Computer Users Everywhere
This problem isn't limited to Free software adopters