EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

10.16.19

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:44 am by Needs Sunlight

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

No, Microsoft is Not an ‘Open Source Company’ But a Lying Company

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 2:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even GitHub itself is proprietary software!

Proprietary Microsoft

Summary: The world’s biggest proprietary software companies want to be seen as “open”; what else is new?

MICROSOFT IS A company full of lies. Lots and lots of lies. See this morning's article about Satya Nadella. “Microsoft through the years,” according to our associate, is this:

1970s programs
1980s systems
1990s marketing
2000s lobbying
2010s cult

Never mind if many of the above “programs” are ripoffs, licensed, or worse. Microsoft was never ever an honest company. This is why so many geeks never did and never will trust Microsoft. Last night we were alerted that Jason from Forbes (their best technology writer by the way), who had been manipulated by Microsoft (maybe the publisher participates in it!) again reprinted the ‘Microsoft ❤️ Linux’ and/or ‘Microsoft ❤️ Open Source’ lies. Jason knows these statements aren’t true, so his headline contained quotes: “Microsoft To Linux Community: ‘We Are An Open Source Company’” [sic]

What’s the point even printing this? The summary says: “17 years ago ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called Linux a cancer. Is it finally time to let that comment go?”

They’re just hiding it better. They recently approached this blogger in an effort to change his mind, as we noted some weeks ago.

“To be most frank, Jason might be better off writing independently, not for Forbes, a publication that works for Bill Gates and spins for Bill Gates (he desperately needs spin right now).”Quite frankly, he should ignore them and focus on facts. Other Microsoft liars such as Bogdan Popa pushed (once again) the same lies/lines without even as much as scepticism. Jason doesn’t need to ‘help’ them. These people will spread whatever lies Microsoft thinks are essential to spread. Microsoft used to do lots of that through its pedophile, Microsoft Peter, who spread all these lies to the point where the Open Source section in Ars Technica was literally nothing but Microsoft lies. He did that even days before he was arrested and the publisher collapsed. Is Softpedia next? Popa is doing “Softpedia News” no favour every time he’s relaying Microsoft lies from Microsoft staff. This cannot possibly be good for the site in the long term…

To be most frank, Jason might be better off writing independently, not for Forbes, a publication that works for Bill Gates and spins for Bill Gates (he desperately needs spin right now).

Meme: Setting the Record Straight

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, FSF at 12:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Did Stallman defend Epstein like the corporate media said?

Richard Stallman’s “Statements about Epstein” when it all began: “I want to respond to the misleading media coverage of messages I posted about Marvin Minsky’s association with Jeffrey Epstein. The coverage totally mischaracterised my statements.

“Headlines say that I defended Epstein. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve called him a “serial rapist”, and said he deserved to be imprisoned. But many people now believe I defended him — and other inaccurate claims — and feel a real hurt because of what they believe I said.

“I’m sorry for that hurt. I wish I could have prevented the misunderstanding.”

Did you defend Epstein like the media said? (meme)

Summary: Stallman never defended Epstein. He had called him “Serial Rapist”. It’s Bill Gates who defended Epstein and possibly participated in the same acts.

10.15.19

EPO Staff Resolution Against Neoliberal Policies of António Campinos

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents at 11:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Last week: EPO Leak: António Campinos Announces Impending Cuts While Outsourcing to Private Firms Like Serco

EPO general assemblies resolution

Summary: “After Campinos announced 17 financial measures,” a source told us, “staff gathered at multiple sites last week for general assemblies. The meeting halls were crowded. The resolution was passed unanimously and without abstentions.”

Satya Nadella is a Distraction From Microsoft’s Real Leadership and Abuses

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 11:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By Mitchel Lewis (“Is Satya Real?”)

Summary: “I’m merely wondering if his image and accolades that we’re incessantly bombarded with by the press actually reflect his accomplishments or if they’re being aggrandized.”

Few executives have garnered more positive press than Satya Nadella since he took the reins at Microsoft. As shown with Elizabeth Holmes though, hype resulting from artificial press coverage is a commodity for major tech companies, hence why they all seem to have massive legal and PR teams to spin press favorably, too much of it can serve as correlate of the opposite being true; similar to a lifted truck with a pair of nuts hanging off the hitch.

With the influence of the media in mind, it’s easy to see why Nadella is credited with the lion’s share of Microsoft’s recent success while being revered as a mountaintop guru of sorts by many in the press. However, few, if any, tech companies are more notorious for manipulating the media than Microsoft. As such, when I ask if Satya Nadella is real, I’m not asking if he’s a real person. Instead, I’m merely wondering if his image and accolades that we’re incessantly bombarded with by the press actually reflect his accomplishments or if they’re being aggrandized.

So, is Satya real? Is he a genuine hyper-woke leader that hit refresh at Microsoft? Is he the champion of growth mindset and change? Or Is he just another manufactured figurehead doing what he’s told by a pasty white cabal of lawyers and PR people? Or is he somewhere in between?

If you were to ask Dina Bass of Bloomberg, she would maintain that Satya is the real deal and that Microsoft is going through a renaissance under his leadership. So would Jim Cramer and the list goes on and on. To their credit, Microsoft has made a boatload of money since Nadella took the reins. But correlation doesn’t always equal causation. Change occurs slowly on an enterprise scale and any manager at Microsoft will gladly affirm that it can be a big ship to steer. Resultantly, Microsoft has to plot its course so far in advance that the profits earned today are the byproduct of strategic planning and decisions made 5–10 years ago; none of which immediately goes out the door with leadership changes. As such, it can take 5–10 years for the merits of their new leadership to come into play and be realized as they slowly come out of the shadow of their predecessor.

Dina Bass
Cut out for space? Or cut out because it contradicts the renaissance narrative?

Satya article image #1

As a result of this executive runoff, which Dina openly admits (omits?), it’s safe to say that Nadella’s influence is still gradually being realized, for better or for worse. Ironically, much of the success that Microsoft is seeing today can still be credited back to Steve Ballmer and his old guard which is still mostly intact to this day. From the present success of Office 365, Azure, Windows 10, Server, Surface, Visual Studio, Hololens, and Xbox to their GitHub and LinkedIn Acquisitions, virtually all of the major decisions bringing these products where they are today were put in motion before Satya’s ascent to the CEO position. It’s just not advantageous for Microsoft to hype up Satya’s predecessors or their old guard with any of their accomplishments.

Sure, he could be the harbinger of ethical change at Microsoft, but it’s not as if Satya was at odds with Ballmer or Gates while under their leadership. Nadella gladly worked under both of them at a company where being ethical was/is a career-limiting move and seemingly taking no issue with anything that Microsoft became notorious for. He didn’t take a stand against their blatant anticompetitive behavior. He is seemingly fine with their commitment to lock-in and is chill with patent trolling too. Bribery? HR and management systematically retaliating against dissenters, whistleblowers, and abuse victims? Pay inequality? No problem at all as far as Nadella is concerned.

Presently, Microsoft is supplying ICE and CBP with its entire suite of software and services despite their participation in genocide. Meanwhile, Microsoft is also catering to China’s facial recognition ambitions and remain complicit in their various human rights violations; they aren’t the only ones though. In response, Satya has tried to downplay Microsoft’s relationship with these government entities while trying to distance the complicity of their productivity software from their deplorable behavior. But his lip service ultimately seems to contradict itself when it doesn’t dance around the subject entirely while his actions are par for the course with his predecessors.

Satya article image #2

In a recent interview and rather than acknowledging their complicity, Nadella claims to maintain some ethical control over their software, from who gets to use it to how they get to use it. Yet, he’s mum when ICE and CBP are blatantly violating their code of conduct with regard to the welfare of children. Even worse, he also seems to prefer to leave ethical decisions to the various laws of the land that they’re operating within like a modern Protagoras in the same breath; legal does not equal ethical. All while ignoring protests of this sort of behavior on his doorstep, internally, and abroad.

“We do have control on who gets to use our technology…and we do have principles. Beyond how we build it, how people use it is something that we control through Terms of Use. And we are constantly evolving the terms of use.”

“We also recognize whether it’s in the United States, whether it’s in China, whether it’s in the United Kingdom, they will all have their own legislative processes on what they accept or don’t accept, and we will abide by them.”
-Satya Nadella

With the above in mind, it’s quite obvious that Satya is towing the company line and deferring ethical decisions to his legal and PR teams while parroting whatever said teams mandate that he say. But ethics deferred are ethics abandoned and this is especially true when one defers to the likes of corporate counsel, PR teams, or the bastardized logic of regimes. As is the case for a proper figurehead, you would be hard-pressed to find Satya going against the grain of anything that Microsoft has become notorious for. None of which is a hallmark of the leadership qualities and ethical stances that he is supposedly a champion of.

While he’s positioned as a techno demigod in the media, Nadella is not even allowed to check his email according to his legal team which is a solid indicator of who is truly wearing the pants at Microsoft. That said, how much sway corporate counsel has within an organization the size of Microsoft often goes overlooked. When you’re walking the line between legal and criminal as Microsoft has done historically, you tend to do whatever your lawyer tells you to do and this is no different for a corporation. And this is especially the case at a law firm with a software problem such as Microsoft which was founded by the affluenza’d son of a Halliburton attorney.

Satya article image #3

Given the undue amount of influence of Microsoft’s legal team has within its walls, it borders on the irrational to expect a significant amount of change from such a company so long as they retain the same lawyers regardless of who their CEO is. Just as you don’t need a criminal defense attorney when you’re not committing crimes, you also won’t need the king of anti-trust such as Brad Smith working at the top legal position of your company unless you’re maintaining a monopoly and violating the Sherman Act.

When I was a vendor at Microsoft, I was told that it was not my job to think, only to do as I was told. Much like a vendor, it’s not Satya’s job to think as a figurehead either. Instead, it’s Satya’s job to operate at the behest of Brad Smith and his legal/PR teams. This isn’t to say that this makes Nadella is a bad person though. He’s just not the person we’ve been sold. Ethically speaking, the real Satya Nadella is most likely no better or worse than anyone else doing their job at Microsoft or anywhere else that requires employees to shelve ethics for a paycheck. You’re welcome to believe the hype though.

Raw: EPO Comes Under Fire for Lowering Patent Quality Under the Orwellian Guise of “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CSC on Collaborative Quality Improvements

Summary: Stephen Rowan, the President’s (António Campinos) chosen VP who promotes the notorious “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI) initiative/pilot, faces heat from the CSC, the Central Staff Committee of the EPO

Making The Most of The Fourth Age of Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 10:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

They said what? Founder of Free software does not and cannot speak for Free software?

Summary: “For better or for worse, we can be certain the Free Software Foundation will never be the same.”

Internet eras come and go in one lifetime. Other technological ages approach and wane with the same haste.

The First Age of Free software arrived in the 1950s, when source code was both available and unrestricted. Neither copyright nor patents were applicable to code, and the A-2 compiler gave customers the opportunity to study and improve the software.

The First Age continued through the 1970s, and gave birth to C, UNIX and BSD. In 1980, Software became copyrightable in the United States — as of the late 1990s, Microsoft had still not yet found a way to abuse the patent system to increase their level of control over the market.

“In 1980, Software became copyrightable in the United States — as of the late 1990s, Microsoft had still not yet found a way to abuse the patent system to increase their level of control over the market.”The Second, and first deliberate Age of Free software, began in the 1980s as Richard Stallman created the Free Software Foundation. Now that monopolies were exerting additional control over software, Stallman realised that this ultimately meant exerting unjust control over the users themselves. For an extreme example of this, one need only consider the level of control that Amazon has today over your ebook library.

You may “purchase” an ebook, but Amazon controls your digital reader and with that, your library. You have less of a say over your own books than the company you bought them from, which is an unprecedented level of control over libraries that circumvents First-sale doctrine.

First-sale doctrine dictates that even if you don’t have the right to publish a book, the physical copy you purchase is yours to change, resell, destroy — you don’t control the publishing rights but you do own your copy.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (where applicable) is at odds with First-sale doctrine, making it a crime to circumvent the encryption scheme on ebooks, music and films. But it’s Amazon’s control of the software that gives them their control of your library — and poses an existential threat to public libraries, which have nearly always existed in the (legally and constitutionally defended) defiance of publishers.

“But it’s Amazon’s control of the software that gives them their control of your library — and poses an existential threat to public libraries, which have nearly always existed in the (legally and constitutionally defended) defiance of publishers.”There are countless other examples of how non-free software creates a lack of freedom for the user, but the threat that companies who promote such software pose to libraries is as good an example as any. Similar modern injustices exist for users of automobiles, pacemakers and farm equipment.

In the late 90s, the Third Age of Free software began. This was an age where Free software worked to maintain awareness as a schism took place. As the GNU project moved forward from creating the rest of an operating system to creating a viable kernel, another free kernel emerged. We know this as the Linux kernel, which has included a Free software license since 1992.

It was not a problem that the Linux kernel was created outside of the GNU project per se, but it created a unique challenge. The authors of Linux were not interested in promoting Free software; they preferred to promote an offshoot or alternative concept called “Open Source.” And one of the primary goals of Open Source was to focus on goals that businesses liked, without having to talk about politics or freedom.

“The authors of Linux were not interested in promoting Free software; they preferred to promote an offshoot or alternative concept called “Open Source.” And one of the primary goals of Open Source was to focus on goals that businesses liked, without having to talk about politics or freedom.”The Third Age is an age of excessive compromise, as well as greater awareness of the products of Free software — through an often unsympathetic, pro-corporate and monopoly-sponsored tech press. This age created great misconceptions and frequently misrepresented history prior to “informing” the public about it. The Third Age helped to steal Free software from the poor and the general public, and give it to the rich and monopolistic.

The Third Age is largely successful, from the standpoint of people who are happy to find that Free software is now actually less free than before. If you ask someone sympathetic to Open Source, they may refer to the movement they co-opted as consisting of “neckbeards”, “whiners” and “zealots”. They mock people who spent years working hard to make software free for everyone as “cheapskates”. But for them, Open source is a triumph. It has entirely different standards of success, but by those standards things are going very well.

If an outside group co-opting Free software forms the Third Age, then the next great Schism in Free Software is the Fourth or present Age. This is a potentially dark age where Free Software itself splits apart — the cause could be considered as a combination of factors.

One factor is the damage to the Free software ecosystem caused by monopoly interference. This has been recognised for years by Free software supporters in various camps, closer to the outskirts (or frontiers) of the movement than the Free Software Foundation itself.

A second factor is the failure of the Free Software Foundation to respond to this category of interference. For many years, a debate has existed between these frontier supporters and the FSF on what the greatest threats to Free software are today. None of this negates or tries to negate the original or primary threats to freedom that have always existed and are still relevant — this a key difference between the current schism and Open Source.

“The First Age was an age of de facto software freedom, the Second Age was the first age of deliberate and intentional freedom, the Third Age was an age of challenged freedom — and in the Fourth Age, we find a dramatic change in leadership and organisation.”Finally, there are people working closely with the Free Software Foundation who have supported the complete political and social ousting of its leader. While voluntarily stepping down as president may have given the FSF the chance to find and transition in a leader suitable to the movement, this has now taken place under other, more disruptive circumstances (including leaving the board instead of just the position) and this dramatic change makes the Fourth Age of Free software that much more distinct.

The First Age was an age of de facto software freedom, the Second Age was the first age of deliberate and intentional freedom, the Third Age was an age of challenged freedom — and in the Fourth Age, we find a dramatic change in leadership and organisation.

You may choose to define this age as the one where its founder was ousted and rejected. Alternatively, you may choose to define this age as the one where the FSF lost credibility with the treatment of its founder. Stallman himself encourages us not to blame the FSF as an organisation, and I can still appreciate and try to support that request. How we go about supporting the FSF in the future is something we are all ultimately going to be discussing.

Speaking personally, I am not the only person that thinks we need the FSF just as much as ever before. I think this is mostly an attack by monopolies, enabled by damage done by Open Source, and that ceding too much control to those who never cared about freedom has weakened the FSF to the point of nearly falling apart.

I do think we should work to save the Free Software Foundation, and abandoning it will not likely save it.

“I do think we should work to save the Free Software Foundation, and abandoning it will not likely save it.”But it will only be saved on terms that no longer neglect the problems that led to this age in the first place. In other words, if we continue to support the FSF, it will be clear that Free software advocates have a greater input in the future and are not so easily waved aside.

It’s important that the FSF not compromise on its goals, but it is also important that it not shy away from addressing new problems. It can be argued that the FSF has fallen short on both. Since we cannot trust the FSF to get everything right, since it has proven unable to sustain its mission in a number of notable ways, it must be willing to accept help that it waved aside in the past.

This does not mean giving into the false compromise and false promise of Open Source. If anything, it has done too much of that already.

But since the FSF was founded, many organisations sympathetic to Software Freedom and (with varying degree) the FSF itself have formed. These are typically smaller organisations, often focusing on certain aspects of freedom that the FSF may neglect or even try to negate.

These organisations cannot and will not be ignored or hastily dismissed any longer. We have predicted several of the crises the FSF is bleeding out from, and if the FSF insists on continuing to bleed out this way, it will die. We can’t force them to listen, or to agree. But we can certainly point out the foolishness of some of the key mistakes that brought us to this point in time. We can also point out solutions that are within the FSF’s ability to implement.

“Regardless of what happens to a sole organisation, this is the second and new age where lines have appeared between those who would have Richard Stallman as captain, and those who would not.”The FSF remains very important to Free software. It holds documents, software, history and talent that can probably do far more good where it belongs — sheltered and maintained by the FSF, if they are willing to work with a broadening, ideologically diverse but sincere and devoted Free software community. By no means will we have a net benefit if the FSF falls.

But we also know that the FSF has failed us in ways we won’t put aside. Even if the organisation is vital, even if the majority of its volunteers are better described as “with us” than “against us,” those who are responsible for these failures will be noted and trusted less than in the past.

The FSF must choose — between becoming less trusted as an organisation, or understanding that certain individuals will become less trusted as a result of all this. We owe it to Stallman, as well as ourselves, not to be hasty or superficial in where we place or withdraw our trust. But the First and Second ages of Free software were ages of innocence and growing up. The Third and Fourth ages will prove to be ages of hard lessons and struggling to regain lost ground, as well as ages of new ideas and evolution.

“For better or for worse, we can be certain the Free Software Foundation will never be the same.”In many ways, it was our own decisions that led us here. In another sense, this is the direction we were swept into. The Free Software Foundation lacks a leader, and the Free software movement is searching for a new anchor. What once was a great ship, is very arguably now a fleet. Regardless of what happens to a sole organisation, this is the second and new age where lines have appeared between those who would have Richard Stallman as captain, and those who would not.

For some of us, this could be the age where Stallman is retired as captain and is promoted (by us) to Admiral, as several new captains appear. For better or for worse, we can be certain the Free Software Foundation will never be the same. Free software sails on, into uncharted waters. We venture forth in search of greater freedom — we do not abandon the quest for freedom for marketshare alone.

Long Live Stallman, and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

FSF is Not for Free Speech Anymore

Posted in FSF at 10:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mr. Pocock was right

Free Speech is Not Bad, Software Freedom Conservancy

Summary: The FSF gave orders to silence people

Bradley M. Kuhn (largely responsible for the RMS resignation): “I have been silent the last month because, until two days ago, I was an at-large member of FSF’s Board of Directors, and a Voting Member of the FSF. As a member of FSF’s two leadership bodies, I was abiding by a reasonable request from the FSF management and my duty to the organization. Specifically, the FSF asked that all communication during the crisis come directly from FSF officers and not from at-large directors and/or Voting Members. Furthermore, the FSF management asked all Directors and Voting Members to remain silent on this entire matter — even on issues only tangentially related to the current situation, and even when speaking in our own capacity (e.g., on our own blogs like this one). The FSF is an important organization, and I take any request from the FSF seriously — so I abided fully with their request.” (no direct link, but it can be read here)

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

Further Recent Posts

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts