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08.27.14

FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Security at 4:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft

A Microsoft Windows (exclusively) infection is having a colossal impact on businesses right now, but corporate press coverage fails to name Windows [1, 2, 3], not to mention any possibility of blaming it. The name of an operating system is only mentioned for negative news when it’s not Windows. This is typical and it matches a pattern we have covered her under the “call out Windows” banner. IDG, the liars’ den, put it like this:

The Target data breach was one of the largest in recent memory, resulting in tens of millions of credit and debit cards being compromised. In the last couple of weeks, SuperValu said that at least 180 of its stores had been hit by a data breach and earlier this week UPS said 51 of it UPS Store locations had been hit.

We wrote about this last week because Windows was not being named, despite it being a critical part of this scenario. Instead, there was deflection to FOSS. It helped distract from Windows, which is insecure by design. It is an architectural problem because since 15 years ago, by some estimates, Windows has been a back doors carrier (for the NSA). Here is one British writer complaining about the approach Microsoft takes to composition as well:

In August last year, one-time-sysadmin and now SciFi author Charles Stross declared Microsoft Word ”a tyrant of the imagination” and bemoaned its use in the publishing world.

“Major publishers have been browbeaten into believing that Word is the sine qua non of document production systems,” he wrote. “And they expect me to integrate myself into a Word-centric workflow, even though it’s an inappropriate, damaging, and laborious tool for the job. It is, quite simply, unavoidable.”

To make matters worse, it facilitates surveillance and sabotage, as more stories from last years served to show (Snowden Files at the Guardian for instance). For security reasons Germany and Russia have moved back to typewriters; we can assume they were using Office and Windows beforehand.

Trust the spinners of Microsoft to create and disseminate some “Heartbleed” FUD, an OpenSSL bug that Microsoft likes to hype up and use to generalise so as to create an illusion that FOSS is inherently less secure. This has become Microsoft’s main propaganda against FOSS, based on just one single bug. The FUD started on the day that XP support (patches) came to an end; this timing is unlikely to be a coincidence for reasons we outlined before.

Jason Thompson writes an offensive piece titled “After Heartbleed, Is Open Source More Trouble Than It’s Worth?”

It starts with the following important disclosure:

Jason Thompson, formerly of Q1 Labs, is the vice president of worldwide marketing at SSH Communications Security.

Marketing for proprietary software (for Windows)? This is the type of thing we saw last week when issues in proprietary VPN software were unfairly blamed on OpenSSL. As we pointed out last week, there is also an attack on Android security (usually rogue apps at to blame) and then there is the recent security FUD against Android from former employees of Microsoft. Mind this new article which highlights Microsoft’s hypocrisy:

The Biggest Problem with the Windows Store: Scams Everywhere

Windows 8′s “Windows Store” is a great idea, but unfortunately, it’s a disaster. It’s full of scam apps, designed to trick you into buying an app you don’t need.

Our friends over at the How-To Geek recently wrote a great piece about the biggest problem with the Windows Store, and how Microsoft has apparently done nothing to address it (despite claiming they would over a year ago). For example, here’s what happens if you search for VLC, a popular free video player

Microsoft is creating some new FUD against Google at the moment and Google has responded as follows:

In Worldwide Partner Conference 2014, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) claimed that more than seven hundred and eighty five customers have switched to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Office 365 from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Apps. Microsoft didn’t give any proofs for this claim, but shown a slide having the names of the pronounced customers who made the switch. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) immediately started investigating this claim and has recently come up with a response. According to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), 5,000+ companies sign up for Google Apps on a daily basis and thousands of these companies switch from Microsoft. In a Forbes article, Ben Kepes mentioned Google’s response and said that it was already expected that Google will come up with a befitting response on Microsoft’s claims.

Microsoft is a malicious, criminal company. Its ability to manipulate the press into writing negative stories about the competition is quite flabbergasting. Microsoft’s key strategy right now is badmouthing the competition. AstroTurf and press manipulation is how that's done, as we showed in the previous post.

Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents at 3:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shameless lies spun as “news”

Arguing with IDG

Summary: Media in Microsoft’s pocket is telling Microsoft’s lies and deceives the public for Microsoft’s bottom line

There is Microsoft spin the media which continues to disturb because it is quite shallow and very easy to spot. Just watch Microsoft Peter with his latest shameless vapourware (Microsoft ads disguised as “journalism”). That’s positive advertising as opposed to negative advertising (against the competition), but it is still advertising and it should have no room in journalism.

The Microsoft-funded (through ads) propaganda apparatus CBS says “Gmail” to make a widespread Internet issue sound like Google’s. This, in a sense, is like anti-Google advertising. It is a bit like The Intercept associating Google — with the word “Google-like” — when speaking about NSA search of people’s personal data. It is not just CBS though (notorious for NSA and CIA connections). A writer who was typically writing for the CBS-owned ZDNet UK is now moving on a bit. A few days ago we saw Simon Bisson, a longtime Microsoft booster with conflicting interests that ought to make him unsuitable to cover Microsoft matters, showing up in IDG. It is a new site and the article is unsurprisingly a Microsoft-serving one, following a longtime tradition (his bio at IDG completely omits his connection to Microsoft this time around). It is a puff piece/advertising/spam for a de facto extension/proxy of Microsoft, working with Microsoft and funded by ‘former’ Microsoft executives to promote Mono and .NET.

The only thing worse than that was this piece from IDG trying to portray Microsoft as “open source” (openwashing). Microsoft is trying to crush all FOSS projects from within, so IDG helps with puff pieces like this one titled “Does Microsoft Really Love Open Source?” It is just an assortment of quotes from Microsoft and Microsoft propaganda entities like Directions on Microsoft. Here is an example:

“Compared to 10 years ago, it’s mind-blowing that Microsoft is doing what [it's] doing now,” says Wes Miller, a research vice president at Directions on Microsoft. “If you look at open source projects like Hadoop or Docker (both of which Microsoft is involved in), in the past Microsoft would have tried to crush them with its own closed source product.”

Microsoft-linked and Microsoft-friendly sources to piece together quite a propaganda piece which omits the fact that the above is intended to promote proprietary Windows. If anything, it show Microsoft subverting FOSS to tie it to proprietary. Here is one comment I received about this article:

Rabellino points to how Microsoft has helped bring Linux support to Azure in what he deems the right way. “We could have made proprietary drivers, but no, we’ve open sourced them,” he says. The same is true of the way Microsoft has helped bring Hadoop support to Windows and Node.js support to Azure.
Seriously, WTF?! What about the UEFI? this is made to help GNU/Linux too, isn’t it? c’mon…

About Microsoft becoming friendly to FOSS one person told me: “Of course it does!! don’t you see how open is the Windows source? oh, wait…”

In less disturbing news, here is an example of potential Microsoft spin, portraying Microsoft as a gainer by comparing it only to the biggest loser, the patent troll BlackBerry.

As a reader is ours put it: “LosePhone is not rising, BB is just falling that much.”

Very clever way to create Microsoft spin; find a contender that falls even quicker. This is essentially what we often find in the media, namely pro-Microsoft deception which if remains unchallenged might recur until it is widely accepted.

According to this article and this other new article, BlackBerry has 44,000 patents that it can use against Android/Linux one day. Just watch the latest on what Apple does to Samsung’s software side. It is a direct attack on Android itself:

Supreme Court ruling won’t kill Apple’s ‘slide to unlock’

In June, the US Supreme Court decided the Alice v. CLS Bank case, tweaking patent law in a way that suggests a lot more patents should be thrown out as overly abstract.

Samsung hoped that case would allow it to knock out two patents that Apple had successfully used against it in the long-running patent war between the two smartphone leaders. Last month, Samsung lawyers filed papers arguing that Apple’s patents on universal search and “swipe-to-unlock” are exactly the type of basic ideas that the US Supreme Court wants to see rejected.

Of course one could relate this whole patent strategy to Microsoft’s hatred of FOSS and also note that Microsoft, under Nadella, recently sued Samsung like Apple had done. It is an attack on Free software using software patents. To call Microsoft friendly towards Open Source requires either a propagandist or a liar. Sounds like a job for IDG!

08.26.14

Microsoft’s Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Fraud, Microsoft at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A new report about Microsoft’s admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft’s criminal aspects

Microsoft does not like paying tax. Microsoft is above the law, so why should it bother paying tax? Just like Bill Gates it is robbing the public while pretending to have little to do with national deficit, Microsoft is actually looting the US and many other parts of the world where it uses similar tricks. India found Microsoft guilty half a decade ago.

Last week when we wrote about Chile we mentioned reports about Microsoft’s colossal tax evasion. Professor Diane Ravitch, who has been watching Gates for years and called for investigation against him, responded as follows:

That kind of money, repatriated to the United States, could underwrite prenatal care for low-income women, provide early childhood education for all low-income children, underwrite medical clinics in low-income communities, and save public education in cities like Detroit and Philadelphia, where it is in dire peril. Imagine $550 billion invested in the well-being of our children! Imagine using that money to reduce our child poverty rate, which is currently the highest among the advanced nations of the world.

The comments are worth seeing too. To quote the first comment: “Perhaps it’s time for Bill Gates teflon coated self be put in jail for tax evasion, after he coughs up back taxes…..One can have hope or fantisize”

The other comments focus on Gates’ corrupt characters and are hardly any favourable than the above.

08.25.14

Links 25/8/2014: China’s Linux Revolution Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 8:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Does open source boost mental health?

    Walk into any makerspace around the world and you’ll encounter this infectious optimism. You’ll see people playing with their Raspberry Pis, their Arduinos, their CNC machines, and their 3D printers. You’ll encounter people intently focused on assembling something, their mind so engaged as to be in a state of flow.

  • What does an open design studio look like?

    I’m really interested in open source philosophies. I like the camaraderie of the communities and the open collaboration. I like being able to have a direct effect on the development of products that I use. I like the idea of the freedom behind the licensing. I like the idea of supporting the underdog fighting picaresquely against the corporate giants. I like that the whole point of open source is being allowed to see (and modify) the code. In simple terms, with open source as a development model it allows access to a product’s plans/blueprints through using a permissive license.

  • Need PCI Compliance? Try Open Source

    In a recent presentation, security professionals unveiled a proposed Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance model that is based on open source technology. The system is designed, they said, to help reduce expenses, enhance scalability and make it easier to manage the technological infrastructure that supports PCI compliance.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Free Nvidia CUDA 6.5 Packs ARM64 Support

      Improved debugging for CUDA Fortran applications (preview) is also here; this includes new debugging support for Fortran arrays (Linux only), improved source-to-assembly code correlation, and improved documentation.

    • Emacs verus notification area, again

      Ages and ages I wrote about letting Emacs code access the notification area. I have more to say about it now, but first I want to bore you with some rambling thoughts and some history.

      The “notification area” is also called the “status icon area” or the “systray” — it is a spot that holds some icons that are under control of various applications.

    • PHP 5.5.16 Officially Released
    • Out in the Open: How Animated GIFs Can Turn You Into a Web Coder

      Basically, all the site’s image effects are stored by a community of developers, much like any other open source software. Anyone can not only use these effects, but build their own and share them with the community by way of the code hosting and collaboration site GitHub. “Since everyone likes glitch art and animated GIFs, it’s a creative outlet for developers to create something new that’s outside their usual field,” say Jen Fong-Adwent, the creator of revisit.link. “But it’s also a way for new people to learn basics.”

    • Programming in Rust

      Discover Rust, the systems programming language developed by Mozilla that’s fast, and wants to be better than C and C++!

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Extra staff for OpenSSL group after Heartbleed drama

      ABOUT four months after the discovery of the Heartbleed bug, the group overseeing the widely used OpenSSL software has added a new full-time staffer and is preparing for a comprehensive code audit.

      Steve Marquess, co-founder and president of the OpenSSL Software Foundation, said the organisation’s team of 14 now had two full-time employees — one started this week — and planned to add two more by the end of the year.

    • Security advisories for Monday
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND JOURNALISM

      Last week, Turkish media reported that “the former employee at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, has revealed that British and American intelligence and Mossad worked together to create the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).” Snowden said intelligence services of three countries created a terrorist organization that is able to attract all extremists of the world to one place, using a strategy called “the hornet’s nest.”

      NSA documents refer to recent implementation of the hornet’s nest to protect the Zionist entity by creating religious and Islamic slogans.

      According to documents released by Snowden, “The only solution for the protection of the Jewish state “is to create an enemy near its borders.” Leaks revealed that ISIS leader and cleric Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi received intensive military training for a whole year at the hands of Mossad, besides courses in theology and the art of speech.”

      Indeed, this is a scandalous claim, one that has been seen on numerous Turkish news websites worded differently. Daily Sabah first reported it with a small news article, and later Daily Sabah columnist Haşmet Babaoğlu wrote about it in the first paragraph of one of his articles. The first paragraph of his article titled “Who benefits from ISIS’s existence in the Middle East?” stated, “Regardless of whether you are enthusiastic about conspiracy theories or not, Global Research’s claim that ‘former National Security Agency (NSA) systems analyst Edward Snowden recently revealed that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was trained by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence and spy agency’ is a topic worthy of debate.”

      It seems to me that the current phenomena gives more striking signals than conspiracy theories, however.

      [...]

      The news first appeared in French on July 9 on a Hezbollah website with Lebanon’s Hezbollah-sponsored channel, Al Manar, claimed as the source. After a short while, the news was translated into English, but, the source was now claimed to be Iran’s Fars News Agency. According to the news article, former analyst of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, proved with leaked documents that ISIS was a MI6, CIA and Mossad joint project. However, there were no indications of when and where Snowden made those remarks.

      [...]

      The best way to prevent this is to present the source. When we read Babaoğlu’s column, we see that he mentioned a website called www.globalresearch.ca. The site belongs to an organization called The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). They identify themselves as “an independent research and media organization based in Montreal. The CRG is a registered non-profit organization in the province of Quebec, Canada.” They claim that their mission is to uncover “the unspoken truth.”

      Babaoğlu presented the news article of Global Research as a source, but what about their source? The claim was not based on evidence; however, this does not render his article worthless. After all, in his article, he speaks of who benefited from recent developments in the Middle East after ISIS’s appearance with actual events. There are views mentioned of several experts as well. Not to mention, there are no inconsistencies and factual errors in the article.

    • Hayden: It’s Just a Matter of Time Before ISIS Attacks America
    • ISIS attack on West ‘a question of timing’: Former CIA chief
    • How Much of a Threat is Isis to the West?
    • Daily Kos: ISIS ‘Politicians’ Are No Threat to U.S., So ‘Stop Freaking Out’ About Them

      In a Sunday-morning post, Daily Kos blogger Mark Sumner argued that the “threat ISIS represents to the United States” is “[e]xactly none” and urged us not to overreact now the way we supposedly did after 9/11 and consequently “hand over freedoms for an illusion of safety. The NSA reading your email and listening in on your phone, idiots mistaking a dropped t-shirt at the Mexican border for the prayer rug of invading Muslims, TSA workers who know you more intimately than your spouse. Those are bin Laden’s victories.”

    • Edward Snowden the Most Wanted Man in the World
    • Venice Film Festival: Latin American Film Birdman to Open

      One of the movies that tackles these topics is “Good Kill”, from the U.S. director Andrew Niccol. This film explores the guilt of a man that controls militar drones to kill Taliban people.

    • Gaza live: Hamas finance official killed in Israeli strikes

      The Israeli army has released what it says is a page from a seized Hamas training manual that would appear to support its case that Palestinian militants deliberately use the cover of residential areas for combat operations.

    • Gaza live: Hamas manual backing civilians as shields found, claims Israel

      Israeli Army says it has found manual showing Hamas tactic of using civilians as shields

    • Gaza live: We will arm Palestine, says Iran as conflict spirals

      Tehran will “accelerate” arming Palestinians in retaliation for Israel deploying a spy drone over Iran, which was shot down, a military commander said on Monday.

      “We will accelerate the arming of the West Bank and we reserve the right to give any response,” said General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of aerial forces of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, in a statement on their official website sepahnews.com.

    • Three killed in Brazil prison riot

      Two prisoners were beheaded and another one died after being thrown off the roof in a riot that erupted in a jail in southern Brazil.

    • Militants Release U.S. Writer Held in Syria Since 2012

      U.S. freelance writer Peter Theo Curtis, who was abducted in Syria and held by militants from al Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, was unexpectedly freed Sunday. Curtis went missing in October 2012 after crossing into northern Syria from Turkey. Negotiations for his release were mediated by Qatar, and the United Nations facilitated his handover in the Golan Heights Sunday evening. Curtis’s release came just days after the Islamic State posted a video online showing the execution of U.S. journalist James Foley. After the video was released, reports emerged that European countries and organizations had paid ransoms averaging over $2.5 million to negotiate the release of more than a dozen citizens held with Foley. The terms of Curtis’s release are unclear, but U.S. officials denied paying a ransom. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, “The U.S. government does not make concessions to terrorists.”

    • Iran TV shows off allegedly downed Israeli drone
    • Iran Shoots Down ‘Israeli Drone’ Near Nuclear Site
    • Iran says it downed Israeli drone near nuclear site
    • Iran ‘will arm Palestinians’ after Israel drone downed
    • Israel targets 2 Gaza mosques in latest airstrikes
    • Netanyahu Warns Gazans to Leave Hamas Sites
    • Gaza tower block collapses after Israeli air strike

      A block of residential apartments in Gaza City has collapsed following an Israeli airstrike on Saturday night. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the building was being used as a command centre by Hamas, but local residents say it was purely residential.

    • Syrian govt ‘ready to cooperate’ with US on IS militants

      Any US air strikes against Islamist militants in Syria must be coordinated with the country’s government, according to the Syrian foreign minister.

    • Washington Foreign Policy Hands Make The Case For The Unthinkable: An Alliance With Assad

      Revenge of the realists. “It is not in our interest to defeat Assad as long as groups like ISIS will be winners.”

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Casualties of Cyber Warfare

      American and Chinese companies are getting caught in the crossfire of the brewing cyber war.

    • Germany spying on Turkey for ‘38 years’

      German foreign intelligence agency has been tapping Turkey for almost four decades, reports Focus amid the ongoing spy scandal between Berlin and Ankara. Some German officials defend the practice, saying that not all NATO allies can be treated as friends.

    • Facebook Messenger Hoax: Illegal Conversations Are Being Automatically Sent To Police

      A new Facebook Messenger hoax claims that illegal conversations being held over private messenger conversations are being analyzed and automatically sent to police. The hoax specifically targets users of the new Facebook Messenger app, and it claims that 250 have already been arrested for their illegal conversations.

    • Spying blind: How polls provide cover for domestic espionage

      Using inappropriately vague and misleading questions, polls have found an American public evenly divided in their support of NSA domestic espionage — and on whether Edward Snowden’s role in revealing the breadth and depth of it makes him a patriot or a traitor. Closer scrutiny indicates these divisions are more likely the result of systemic methodological biases in the polls than an expression of genuine opinion. This points to a far more troubling problem: Bad polls subvert a fair and balanced public debate on mass government spying, resulting in potentially anti-democratic remedies.

    • What others say: USA Freedom Act a testimony to informed public debate

      A little more than a year after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the federal government was collecting and storing the telephone records of millions of Americans, Congress is poised to end the program and provide significant protection for a broad range of personal information sought by government investigators.

      Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has proposed a version of the bill that is significantly more protective of privacy than one passed by the House in May. Like the House bill, Leahy’s proposal would end the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone “metadata” — information about the source, destination and duration of phone calls that investigators can “query” in search of possible connections to foreign terrorism.

    • A closer look at the issue of the NSA and building spyware into apps
    • The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google

      The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.

      The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.

      ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      Earlier revelations sourced to the Snowden documents have exposed a multitude of NSA programs for collecting large volumes of communications. The NSA has acknowledged that it shares some of its collected data with domestic agencies like the FBI, but details about the method and scope of its sharing have remained shrouded in secrecy.

    • Corporations Spy on Nonprofits With Impunity

      Here’s a dirty little secret you won’t see in the daily papers: Corporations conduct espionage against U.S. nonprofit organizations without fear of being brought to justice.

      Yes, that means using a great array of spycraft and snoopery, including planned electronic surveillance, wiretapping, information warfare, infiltration, dumpster diving and so much more.

      The evidence abounds.

      For example, six years ago, based on extensive documentary evidence, James Ridgeway reported in Mother Jones on a major corporate espionage scheme by Dow Chemical focused on Greenpeace and other environmental and food activists.

      Greenpeace was running a potent campaign against Dow’s use of chlorine to manufacture paper and plastics. Dow grew worried and eventually desperate.

      Ridgeway’s article and subsequent revelations produced jaw-dropping information about how Dow’s private investigators, from the firm Beckett Brown International (BBI), hired:

      • An off-duty DC police officer who gained access to Greenpeace trash dumpsters at least 55 times;

      • a company called NetSafe Inc., staffed by former National Security Agency (NSA) employees expert in computer intrusion and electronic surveillance; and,

      • a company called TriWest Investigations, which obtained phone records of Greenpeace employees or contractors. BBI’s notes to its clients contain verbatim quotes that they attribute to specific Greenpeace employees.

      Using this information, Greenpeace filed a lawsuit against Dow Chemical, Dow’s PR firms Ketchum and Dezenhall Resources, and others, alleging trespass on Greenpeace’s property, invasion of privacy by intrusion, and theft of confidential documents.

    • FBI scuttles contested $500 million, no-bid deal with Motorola

      In the face of multiple vendor protests, the FBI has cancelled plans to hand industry giant Motorola Solutions Inc. a sole-source contract worth up to $500 million, saying that it will reassess how to upgrade the bureau’s antiquated nationwide two-way radio network.

      The FBI had argued, in a justification for skirting competitive bidding requirements, that switching to another vendor would force the purchase of a complete new system costing $1.2 billion. The existing Motorola network has proprietary features that can’t interact with non-Motorola equipment, so the FBI said, sticking with Motorola would extend the use of equipment worth $300 million.

    • For sale: Systems that can secretly track where cellphone users go around the globe

      Makers of surveillance systems are offering governments across the world the ability to track the movements of almost anybody who carries a cellphone, whether they are blocks away or on another continent.

  • Civil Rights

    • Behold, John Brennan’s Scary Memo!
    • Liberal candidates never seem to satisfy liberal voters’ expectations: Farmer

      It seems the worst thing that can befall a liberal is to actually win an election for public office. Just ask President Obama or, better still, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

      Each man’s election was hailed by liberals as a kind of Second Coming, the arrival of Nirvana, the ultimate rejection, even repudiation, of their predecessors, George W. Bush and Michael Bloomberg, and of conservatism itself.

    • The Reclamation of Torture

      Torture ConceptTorture is making a comeback. Not the practice, at least in this country, but the word. For a decade, politicians and the media fenced the term off to keep it from contaminating their description of American behavior. But gradually, the word is being reclaimed. We should pay close attention to this development, for as we rediscover words that were once taboo, we define anew what it means to be an American.

    • The Ignored History of the Migrant Refugee Crisis

      Friday July 25 will not make history as the first time a war criminal was greeted at the White House. Nevertheless, this was the day that Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, who has been condemned for his role in the torture and murder of civilians by the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission as well as journalists and academics, sat down with President Obama. Along with the Presidents of El Salvador and Honduras, the Heads of State gathered to discuss the causes of the massive northern exodus from Central America, as well as the 50,000 migrants—largely women and children—that have already been detained by the US government for crossing the border. The silence about the literal skeletons in Molina’s closet reveals a much larger historical legacy that has been ignored in the discourse around the border crisis.

    • Mubarak resisted US pressure to give up the Sinai: The Secret Files

      Towards the end of his tenure, ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resisted pressures from Washington to cede Egyptian territory in the Sinai Peninsula to help create a Palestinian state, former senior members of Mubarak’s ruling party told Asharq Al-Awsat.

    • Russia’s Humanitarian ‘Invasion’

      Official Washington’s war-hysteria machine is running at full speed again after Russia unilaterally dispatched a convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian supplies to the blockaded Ukrainian city of Luhansk, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

    • Americans are back on the war bandwagon

      Boosting US military involvement in Iraq will make matters worse.

    • Massachusetts SWAT teams claim they’re private corporations, immune from open records laws

      As part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s recent report on police militarization, the Massachusetts chapter of the organization sent open records requests to SWAT teams across that state. It received an interesting response.

    • Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency”

      Cornel West is a professor at Union Theological Seminary and one of my favorite public intellectuals, a man who deals in penetrating analyses of current events, expressed in a pithy and highly quotable way.

      [...]

      And we ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist. Another neoliberal opportunist. It’s like, “Oh, no, don’t tell me that!” I tell you this, because I got hit hard years ago, but everywhere I go now, it’s “Brother West, I see what you were saying. Brother West, you were right. Your language was harsh and it was difficult to take, but you turned out to be absolutely right.” And, of course with Ferguson, you get it reconfirmed even among the people within his own circle now, you see. It’s a sad thing. It’s like you’re looking for John Coltrane and you get Kenny G in brown skin.

    • Cop Assigned To Ferguson Protests Threatens Attorney General Holder

      “AG Holder is in St. Louis Today. I should go in early and punch him in the nose for so many different reasons.” – Tweet by Sgt. Mike Weston, Velda City Police

    • Student’s Story About Shooting A Pet Dinosaur With A Gun Ends In Suspension, Arrest

      It would appear that Stone was only “disturbing” school officials who seemed intent on finding some evidence of his desire to shoot people and was understandably frustrated that they wouldn’t believe it wasn’t some sort of threat. Whatever disturbance Stone caused was limited to a single office. There was no reason for anyone to claim, much less believe, that his written assignment, or his behavior inside that office, was “disturbing” his classmates, other classes or anyone else not directly involved.

    • Women need protection from undercover officers

      Imagine the scenario. You meet someone and, from the outset, the attraction is mutual: silently shared smiles, lingering glances. You bond over shared interests and worldviews, and exchange telephone numbers. You start sleeping together and – as your pulse quickens every time the phone rings – you realise you are falling for each other. Days are spent together, walking in parks, trips to the cinema, romantic meals; time apart becomes difficult. Eventually, your partner moves in, and for years you share everything. Maybe you even have a child together. Then – suddenly – they appear depressed and become distant. One day, they are gone, leaving only an apologetic note on the kitchen table. You then discover everything you knew about them was false. They have invented a fake identity; their backstory, opinions, entire life, all a lie. They are undercover police officers, and were sent to spy on you and your friends.

    • Handcuffed Black Youth Killed Himself, Says Coroner

      A coroner’s report obtained exclusively by NBC News directly contradicts the police version of how a 22-year-old black man died in the back seat of a Louisiana police cruiser earlier this year — but still says the man, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, shot himself.

      In a press release issued March 3, the day he died, the Louisiana State Police said Victor White III apparently shot himself in an Iberia Parish police car. According to the police statement, White had his hands cuffed behind his back when he shot himself in the back.

    • Cops admit to false reports in Malmö protest

      Police withdrew statements that ambulance personnel were attacked at the anti-Nazi demonstrations on Saturday, and reported themselves for investigation after trampling protesters.

    • Give Killer Cops a Break, Says NYT

      The message of a New York Times piece by Michael Wines and Frances Robles (8/22/14) was clear: Police officers who shoot unarmed civilians need to be be given the benefit of the doubt.

    • NRA News Praises White Vigilante Patrols That Shot African-Americans After Hurricane Katrina

      Cam Edwards, host of the National Rifle Association’s news show, claimed that after Hurricane Katrina residents of the New Orleans neighborhood Algiers “were looking out for each other by walking the streets armed with firearms.” But according to a federal hate crimes indictment and numerous media reports, after Katrina white gun-toting vigilantes in Algiers targeted African-Americans with racially motivated violence.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Police Freeze Mega Shares in Money Laundering Investigation

        New Zealand authorities have placed 18.8% of the Kim Dotcom-founded cloud hosting service Mega under restraining order. The actions involve multi-millionaire William Yan, one of Mega’s largest shareholders, who is alleged to be involved in money laundering. Mega itself is not suspected of wrong-doing.

      • Witness Offered $3.50/Hr to Testify Against Pirate Bay Founder

        Witnesses are being summoned to appear in the trial of Gottfrid Svartholm set to take place in September. A Cambodia-based former colleague of the Pirate Bay founder has been offered $3.50 per hour to attend, but heated emails with Danish authorities indicate he will not be traveling.

Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

Posted in News Roundup at 4:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • China Developing Its Own OS To Take On Apple, Microsoft, and Google

    If it hasn’t been made clear enough in recent months that China would love nothing more than to cut down on its reliance to American technology companies, its just-announced decision to create its own operating system should remedy that. At first, this OS will target the desktop, but eventually, it’ll make its way to smartphones and other mobile devices.

  • Desktop

    • Specialization and the Linux Desktop

      Our benevolent dictator for life recently claimed that he was still aiming at Linux being as prevalent on the desktop as it is in the datacenter or in the cloud. The statement was meant with roaring applause from the crowd, and a few healthy, and a few not so healthy, doses of skepticism from the press. Recently, IT World asked “Does it still make sense for Linus to want the desktop for Linux?”, and Matt Asay from Tech Repubic asked “Can we please stop talking about the Linux desktop?”. Both publishers are critical of the claim that there is still room for Linux on Personal Computers, and point to Android as a Linux success story. What both articles miss though is that the flexibility of Linux, and the permissiveness of it’s open source license may be the thing that saves Linux on the desktop, just not in the way we were expecting.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds is my hero, says 13 year old Zachary DuPont

      Zachary DuPon is a 6th grader who will turn 13 years old soon. He used to be an Arch Linux user and is looking forward to installing Gentoo Linux soon.

      The story of Zach goes like this – his school organized a project where students were asked to write a letter to their heroes, while most kids wrote to celebrities, Zach wrote to the ‘real’ hero of the modern technology world – Linus Torvalds.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Preview Of AMD Radeon R9 290 Hawaii Open-Source Performance

        Coming up next week is a comparison of the Radeon R9 290 graphics card against various other graphics cards on the latest open-source driver. Additionally, there will be a RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst driver comparison for the Radeon R9 290 graphics card. Unfortunately there will be no Radeon R9 290X graphics tests for lacking that GPU and having bought the R9 290 myself. For those that are anxious to see how the R9 290 performs on the open-source driver, I uploaded some initial standalone results this weekend for you to facilitate your own comparisons.

      • Open-Source AMD HSA Should Come To Fruition This Year

        AMD’s open-source OpenCL support has been lagging behind the proprietary drivers, but Bridgman says they’re trying to improve upon that too. In particular, it seems they may try to open-source more of their proprietary OpenCL driver implementation. Bridgman said, “For OpenCL not sure yet — we’re trying to get more people working on it and open up more code from our proprietary implementation, so rate of progress should improve but I don’t know how much yet.”

      • Preview Of AMD Radeon R9 290 Hawaii Open-Source Performance

        Coming up next week is a comparison of the Radeon R9 290 graphics card against various other graphics cards on the latest open-source driver. Additionally, there will be a RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst driver comparison for the Radeon R9 290 graphics card. Unfortunately there will be no Radeon R9 290X graphics tests for lacking that GPU and having bought the R9 290 myself. For those that are anxious to see how the R9 290 performs on the open-source driver, I uploaded some initial standalone results this weekend for you to facilitate your own comparisons.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Bay Trail Performance With Linux 3.16/3.17 & Mesa 10.3

        The Bay Trail HD Graphics tests for this article came down to:

        - Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS with all available stable release updates.

        - The updated Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS state with then enabling the Oibaf PPA for Mesa 10.3-devel.

        - The Oibaf’ed Ubuntu LTS configuration with then installing the Linux 3.16 stable kernel.

        - The above configuration but then upgrading to the experimental Linux 3.17 kernel in Git form.

      • Radeon Graphics Yield Mixed Results With Linux 3.17 Kernel

        This article serves as a comparison of the stable Linux 3.16 kernel against the latest Linux 3.17 Git kernel when testing a range of graphics cards from the Radeon HD 5770 through the Radeon R9 270X. The system setup was maintained the same through testing and Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS was used as a host but with upgrading to the Mesa 10.3-devel and xf86-video-ati 7.4.99 Git using the Oibaf PPA. With Linux 3.16.0 and Linux 3.17 Git, the following AMD graphics cards were tested on the Intel Core i7 4790K rig:

        - Radeon HD 5770
        - Radeon HD 6870
        - Radeon HD 6950
        - Radeon HD 7850
        - Radeon HD 7950
        - Radeon R9 270X

      • Preview: OS X 10.10 Yosemite vs. Ubuntu Linux GPU Performance

        At the request of many Phoronix readers, here’s our first tests of Apple’s OS X 10.10 “Yosemite” operating system as we see how the OpenGL performance compares between it and Ubuntu Linux with an updated kernel and Mesa.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Releases in the Future

        Long post about releases ahead, brace yourselves!

        Last week we released KDE Applications and KDE Platform 4.14.

        KDE Applications, KDE Platform and KDE Workspaces were sometimes collectively referred as the “KDE Software Compilation” or “KDE SC” in short form, which is arguably a bad name, but it is what it is.

      • My TODO List for LaKademy 2014
      • Release of libmygpo-qt 1.0.8 (Qt5 support inside :) )

        I’m happy to announce the release of a new version of my project libmygpo-qt. It again has been a while, over one year since the last release. And although it took so long, this release doesn’t include many new features, except one: support for building the library with Qt5.

      • How to contribute to the KDE Frameworks Cookbook

        Im a way, the book will partly provide an alternative way to consume the content provided by KDE TechBase. Because of that, the HTML version of the book will integrate and cross-link with TechBase. The preferences of what kind of documentation should be in the book or on TechBase are not yet written in stone, and will probably develop over time. The beauty of Free Software is that it also does not matter much – the content is there and may be mixed and remixed as needed.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • gnome 3 followup

        A quick followup from my previous post about using gnome shell for a week from a sysadmin view. I got a number of responses on irc and via email. Some of them providing handy hints and solutions or at least work arounds to some of the issues I ran into. I am happy to report that everyone who offered me suggestions/workarounds/tips were very polite and many were in agreement that some of these were issues that should get fixed or implemented.

  • Distributions

    • Why I don’t distro-hop: Because work. And pain.

      In any Linux distribution I use, I’d love to have full functionality with the open Radeon graphics driver. I’d also love a packaged Catalyst driver that works with GNOME 3. I can’t get the former with anything just yet, and I can’t get the latter in Fedora due to Wayland code in GNOME 3 that doesn’t yet play with Catalyst. Since I tend to run Xfce instead of GNOME, this isn’t a deal-breaker.

    • Manjaro 0.8.10 Receives New Update Pack and New Kernels

      Manjaro 0.8.10, a Linux distribution based on well-tested snapshots of the Arch Linux repositories and 100% compatible with Arch, has received a new update pack that brings some very important updates and changes.

    • Slackware Family

      • Salix Fluxbox 14.1 Beta 1 Is Light Distro Based on Slackware

        “It’s time to revive our Fluxbox edition! Here is a first beta that is mostly untested for now, so feel free to try it out and post your findings.The Fluxbox edition is designed to bring a minimalist environment to your desktop. The default desktop layout is comprised only from the Fluxbox panel and the right click menu will bring up the Fluxbox menu, so it should be really light on resources. The file manager that is used is PCManFM.”

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Ubuntu Touch Image #203 Is Quite Fast And Stable

            The developers have started the work for the RTM (release to manufacturing) version of Ubuntu Touch, which will get only bug-fixes.

            Ubuntu Touch is developed on three branches: Utopic, which is the “stable” branch, the development branch utopic-devel and the RTM branch, which, unlike the two others, is not available for public yet.

            So, if you want an Ubuntu Touch version that receives all the new features in time, got for the “stable” branch. And for an Ubuntu Touch with less bugs and crashes, try the Ubuntu RTM.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn Now Uses Kernel 3.16.1

            Due to the fact that the Kernel Freeze will arrive in seven weeks, most likely, Ubuntu 14.10 will not ship with the newest version of Kernel 3.16.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) Hits Feature Freeze

            Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) is going to pass through several development stages and the Feature Freeze is just one of them. This means that developers can no longer get new features and major changes into the system, unless it’s important enough to get an exemption.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is Open Source Becoming the De Facto Standard in the Data Center?

    Is open source positioned to become the next mode of standardization in the virtualization world?

  • Islamic State militant group used less restrictive social network

    The Islamic State extremist group began using a social networking website with less restrictions on users after other social media sites, Twitter and YouTube in particular, removed content related to the group.

    The social network called Diaspora lets users control their own personal data rather than storing the information itself, and it allows users to designate their own servers to host their data.

  • Events

    • ownCloud to organize Developer Conference in Berlin

      ownCloud is one of the most important free software projects around because we all are moving to the cloud for easy access to our data anywhere, anytime. The ‘so-called’ cloud has it’s own advantages, but it also compromises one’s ownership and control of the data. The moment you put your data on someone else’s cloud you lose the control and ownership over your own data.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Did Brendan Eich Contribute to Firefox’s Decline?

        This may sound like analyzing yesterday’s news, but I think it’s important, and more than that I need to put this here as a resource to point certain people to.

        As we probably all know Brendan Eich [co-]creator of the JavaScript scripting language, co-founder of the Mozilla project, the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation, and ex-chief technical officer of Mozilla Corporation was promoted to chief executive officer (CEO) of Mozilla on March 24, 2014 only to resign on April 3, 2014 due to controversy over his $1,000 donation to the unconstitutional California Proposition 8 in 2008.

  • Freedom

    • on the Dark Ages of Free Software: a “Free Service Definition”?

      Free Software community is winning a war that is becoming increasingly pointless: yes, users have 100% Free Software thin client at their fingertips [or are really a few steps from there]. But all their relevant computations happen elsewhere, on remote systems they do not control, in the Cloud.

  • Misc.

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • 9-year-old trains to be ‘caliphate’ jihadi

      In Raqqah, heavily-armed jihadists are seen celebrating on US armoured vehicles seized during their advances in Iraq, while sharia police patrol streets and markets with rifles over their shoulders. Patrol chief Abu Obida orders traders to remove a poster showing “infidels,” then blithely tells a man to change the fabric on his wife’s veil.

    • US weighs direct military action against ISIS in Syria

      The Obama administration is debating a more robust intervention in Syria, including possible American air strikes, in a significant escalation of its weeks-long military assault on the Islamic extremist group that has destabilized neighbouring Iraq and killed an American journalist US, officials said.

    • The Republican Embrace of ISIL-Type Violence

      Remember when two cops were shot by homegrown white conservative terrorists in Las Vegas and Paul Waldman at the Washington Post, wrote, “It’s long past time for prominent conservatives and Republicans to do some introspection and ask whether they’re contributing to outbreaks of right-wing violence”?

      Remember when Republicans rejected the idea that their rhetoric could incite violence, let alone that it is violent?

      And think again about how Muslims should get a bullet in the head and pro-immigration Republicans should be shot and hanged.

      Remember these instances of violent right-wing rhetoric?

    • British, American special forces forming hunter killer unit ‘Task Force Black’ to smash Islamic State

      Britain’s elite special forces along with US special forces are forming a unit called Task Force Black to hunt down the killer of James Foley and smash the Islamic State.

      According to the Mirror and as reported by the Sunday People, the undercover unit’s aim will be to “cut the head off the snake” by hitting the command structure of the Islamist terror group responsible for a trail of atrocities across Iraq and Syria.

    • Op-Ed: Mystery plane bombs Tripoli again for a second night

      Most reports do not mention Haftar’s links to the CIA nor do the most recent reports I have read mention Haftar’s own remarks to the effect that these bombings are a joint effort with the international community.

    • What’s the truth behind Malaysian Flight 17 downing?: CIA Analysts Won’t Back White House Claims of Russian Culpability

      With the US continuing to push its submissive European “allies” towards an ever more confrontational stance towards Russia over the crisis in Ukraine (a crisis initially provoked by the US itself through CIA and State Department actions that led to the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government), the world appears headed towards a dangerous renewed Cold War between the world’s two nuclear superpowers.

      A central part of that campaign by Washington has been the effort to blame the downing of Malaysian Flight 17, which killed all 298 passengers and crew, on Russia, or failing that, on pro-Russian separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. This campaign has used innuendo, falsified evidence and, weirdly, spurious and sometimes absurd “evidence” circulating in various social media — all of which which people like Secretary of State John Kerry and president Obama himself have tried to say “prove” that Russia, or at least a Russian-provided high-altitude BUK anti-aircraft missile, was responsible for the downing.

    • Here’s How The Kremlin’s English-Language Propaganda Organs Are Spinning Russia’s Incursion Into Ukraine

      The current situation in Ukraine is reaching a head as Russian armour and aid trucks are freely flowing over the boarder, an act that Ukraine has called a “direct invasion.”

      For the first time in months of crisis, NATO accused Russia of directly intervening in Ukraine’s restive east, where Kiev has been fighting Russian-supported separatists.

    • Reports Of ISIS Beheadings Are Horrifyingly Common

      During the first two weeks of August, Islamic State fighters killed 700 members of the al-Sheitaat tribe in Syria’s Deir al-Zor province, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Many of them were beheaded, the organization said. Islamic State militants had been battling the tribe since seizing two oil fields in Syria in July.

    • Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Hamas

      “Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Sexton explained. “It was founded by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a cleric and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood himself.”

      Sexton said Yassin founded in Hamas in 1987, during the first intifada.

      “In 1988, Hamas established a charter, a mission statement,” Sexton continued. “It said that its goal is to raise the flag of Allah over every inch of Palestine. Well, that’s a problem, because when they say Palestine, they mean Israel.”

    • How Snowden Complicates the Prevention of Future Leaks

      George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and the most prominent members of their teams feel differently, of course, which helps explain why Snowden became a whistleblower in the first place. The national-security state is its own worst enemy, doing more to undermine its own legitimacy than its critics ever could.

    • The truth about Iraq’s liberation

      US air strikes on Iraq are part of a criminal scheme to safeguard western control of the country’s oil, writes Dahlia Wasfi

    • US must consider partnering with Assad to defeat IS: former CIA agent

      The Obama administration is still weighing up how to respond to the Islamic State terrorist group after the beheading of American journalist James Foley. Pressure is growing on president Obama to do more than the current strategy of airstrikes on IS targets in Iraq. Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Martin Dempsey said IS can only be defeated by countering Sunni militancy in Syria. The World Today spoke to former CIA counter-terrorist officer Patrick Skinner.

    • Why Washington’s War on Terror Failed

      There are extraordinary elements in the present U.S. policy in Iraq and Syria that are attracting surprisingly little attention. In Iraq, the U.S. is carrying out air strikes and sending in advisers and trainers to help beat back the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (better known as ISIS) on the Kurdish capital, Erbil. The U.S. would presumably do the same if ISIS surrounds or attacks Baghdad. But in Syria, Washington’s policy is the exact opposite: there the main opponent of ISIS is the Syrian government and the Syrian Kurds in their northern enclaves. Both are under attack from ISIS, which has taken about a third of the country, including most of its oil and gas production facilities.

    • ‘Germans fed up with NATO allies & US wars’ – Frmr Defense Secretary
  • Transparency Reporting

    • When Google Met WikiLeaks Note

      A pungent account by Assange of the banality of corporate evil, as he terms Google. Assange says the exchange with Eric Schmidt and colleagues may be his best interview — which composes about half the volume.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • FRACK TO FRONT

      Earlier in the summer, SchNEWS broke the story of the infamous Infrastructure Bill. The new law, still winding its way through parliament, will allow for any public land to be ‘transferred’ via a Government body to private developers.The Infrastructure Bill is still very much happening, and it’s got even uglier. We’re talking compulsory fracking uglier.

  • Finance

    • In Detroit, Water Crisis Symbolizes Decline, and Hope

      Nearly 19,500 Detroiters have had their water service interrupted since March 1. The Water and Sewerage Department, under pressure to reduce more than $90 million in bad debt, ordered shutoffs for customers who owed at least $150 or had fallen at least two months behind on their bills. The decision to take such drastic measures, done with little warning, ignited a controversy that prompted protests and arrests, more bad publicity for the struggling city, global dismay, and a warning from the United Nations.

    • How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home

      I didn’t realize just how much of an impact student loan debt would have until I attempted to buy a house

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • BBC’s long struggle to present the facts without fear or favour

      Under such circumstances, it is no wonder that the BBC can appear like a damaged, bullied child, defensive and afraid. The stakes for BBC News are immeasurably high. If we believe in the BBC as a positive and beneficial ideological intervention in our lives, if we believe in it as the greatest, and best loved, signifier of Britain there is, then things have to change – outside the BBC as well as inside it. The bullies need to lay off. The whole culture that surrounds it needs to become less vituperative, more mature.

  • Censorship

    • Europe: A Union of Common Censorship

      Freedom is fundamental to prosperity. Those who cherish freedom most are often those who have not always enjoyed it. Thus the souls whose lives were blighted by Communist totalitarianism often rejoice at the simplest pleasures, even 25 years after the evils of the system were unraveled across Europe. Their joy in being able to travel has been hugely enhanced by that core Western value – freedom. Unfortunately, just as the European Union appears to have forgotten how to create prosperity, so, too, it seems to have gone somewhat patchy on the notion of freedom.

    • India sacks movie censor chief over bribery charge

      MUMBAI: India has removed the chief executive of its film censorship board after he was arrested on accusations he took a bribe to clear a movie for screening.

    • Gavin McInnes Makes a Great Argument Against Censorship

      Last week, performance artist, professional agitator, and Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes took to Thought Catalog—a publication known for particularly vapid and terrible millennial musings—to speculate about how “transphobia is perfectly natural.” People were outraged. People demanded the piece be removed. Thought Catalog responded by slapping on a big old trigger warning—if you go to the McInnes article page now, you’ll get a notice that “the article you are trying to read has been reported by the community as hateful or abusive content” before being allowed to proceed—but like hell it was going to take down such spectacular clickbait.

    • Canada’s despicable climate censorship: Government scientists need permission to tweet basic facts

      New documents reveal the extent of the government’s maddening policy of “suppression through bureaucracy”

    • Twitter’s busy week: Censorship rules and changing timelines
    • ‘Recovered Voices’ initiative studies grim history of Nazi censorship

      The Nazis, of course, had their terrible guidelines based on religion, race or modernist “decadence.”

  • Privacy

    • Corporate hack attack fears drive flash of cash

      Mr Snowden’s exposé revealed that the NSA had gained access to large internet companies’ servers stored in clouds, and inserted “back doors” into encryption software. In the immediate aftermath there were fears that distrust in US cloud-storage providers could cost such companies dearly, with the highest estimates forecasting a 25 per cent hit to overall IT service provider revenues globally.

    • White Paper: Identifying back doors, attack points, and surveillance mechanisms in iOS devices

      I received word from the editor-in-chief that the author of an accepted paper has permission to publish it on his website, and so I am now making my research available to anyone who wishes to read it. The following paper, “Identifying back doors, attack points, and surveillance mechanisms in iOS devices” first appeared published in The International Journal of Digital Forensics and Incident Response in March 2014′s publication. The Editor-in-Chief is Eoghan Casey, with the Information Security Institute, John Hopkins University, Maryland. The editorial board consists of researchers from Google, Microsoft, LG, The Mitre Corporation, and a number of universities. This paper was the basis for my talk at the HOPE/X conference in NYC in July 2014. Please enjoy.

    • THE WEST IS LOSING TURKEY

      The announcements were both as expected and made one smile. Evidently, the main reason is the ambiguity of the policies implemented by the Erdoğan government, which shows an unbounded character according to them. Aside from wiretapping some politicians and bureaucrats of Turkey, the BND also probably used other communication tools such as the Internet. Former BND chief Wieck stated that such authority could only be granted by the German government, while intelligence experts underlined that such an operation could only be conducted by using some intermediaries in Turkey.

    • Germany spies on Albania to monitor ‘organised crime’: report

      Germany’s secret service has been spying on Albania for years to keep tabs on “organised crime”, Der Spiegel claimed on Saturday, days after it was revealed that Berlin had been eavesdropping on Turkey.

  • Civil Rights

    • Ferguson: officer relieved of duty after video of racist remarks surfaces

      A police officer involved in the protests over Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, has been relieved of his duty after video surfaced of him making racist and derogatory remarks.

      Dan Page was recorded in April giving a speech in which he described President Barack Obama as an illegal immigrant, and railed against Muslims and gay people. “I’m into diversity – I kill everybody,” he said.

    • High school student arrested for writing story about shooting dinosaur

      When a South Carolina student was given an assignment by his teacher to create a Facebook-type status report telling something interesting about himself, he allegedly wrote “I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur. I bought the gun to take care of the business.”

    • John Yoo and The Senate Torture Report

      John Choon Yoo, aka John Yoo, authored the Torture Memos used to justify torture of human beings by the Bush Administration.

      [...]

      The SSCI Torture report has been approved for public release. However, the SSCI and the CIA are fighting over the CIA’s substantial redactions to the torture report summary. The torture report is 6,000 pages, adopted by the SSCI in December 2012; it is the most comprehensive report on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” a euphemism for torture.

    • This guy accepted a ‘water-boarding challenge’

      Some sheep have been bold enough to show their bravery by accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge. Others demand a greater feat, such as proving one’s capability to read on a fifth-grade level. But some motherfuckers? Some motherfuckers just don’t know when to quit. Some motherfuckers decidedly accepted a means of CIA-endorsed torture–not so much for the ALS children–but, like Bill Burr has already professed, for their own two and a half seconds of fame.

    • Journalist James Risen: will he be jailed for not revealing source?

      While President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder have asked this week for law enforcement in Ferguson, Mo., to not jail reporters for doing their jobs, press advocates are asking the administration and the Justice Department to stop prosecuting a New York Times national security correspondent for doing his. As Ashley Westerman reports from Washington, DC, the years-­long case of James Risen has had a chilling effect on journalists and whistleblowers.

    • The administration should not press reporter James Risen to reveal a source

      LAST WEEK President Obama offered some lofty words about journalism and democracy. Commenting on the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., he declared, “Here, in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.”

    • Obama Admits ‘We Tortured Some Folks,’ But Is the Bush Era Over?

      As Taguba noted in his piece for the Times, he knows “from experience that oversight will help the C.I.A. — as it helped the United States military.” He wrote: “Ten years ago, I was directed by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior officer in Iraq, to investigate allegations of detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. My report’s findings, which prompted a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, documented a systemic problem: military personnel had perpetrated ‘numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses.’” He believes that the reason American’s support for terrorism has increased in recent years only because there has been no honest accounting. He cited a 2012 YouGov poll and research conducted by Amy Zegart of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Although several years old, that survey showed that 41 percent of Americans supported torturing prisoners, a 14-percentage point increase from 2007. “It turns out that Americans don’t just like the general idea of torture more now,” Zegart wrote for Foreign Policy in September 2012. “They like specific torture techniques more too.”

    • Saudi Arabia executes 19 in one half of August in ‘disturbing surge of beheadings’

      Saudi Arabia has beheaded at least 19 people since the beginning of August in a surge of executions, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said.

    • ‘Comprehensive’ CIA Torture Report Won’t Even Name Well-Known Architects of Torture Program

      Some familiar names will be missing from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long-awaited report on the CIA’s torture program, VICE News has learned.

      Notably, two retired Air Force psychologists, Dr. Bruce Jessen and Dr. James Mitchell, who have been credited with being the architects of the CIA’s so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” have their names redacted in the 480-page executive summary of the report, according to current and former US officials knowledgeable about the contents of the document.

    • The killer on the (Saudi) king’s highway

      The House of Saud, directly and indirectly, and the proverbial wealthy Gulf Cooperation Council donors are the Mom and Dad of ISIS. All duly vetted/approved by the industrial-military-Orwellian-Panopticon complex.

    • Leaks, Whistleblowers, and the Media’s Right to Report

      Their stories are not new. What Spione brought to the screen was the humanity of the whistleblowers and the patriotic idealism that compelled them to work in government agencies like the NSA and the CIA and then to speak out against the excesses they saw there. If anything, Silenced dramatizes how the landscape of government secrecy has changed dramatically since 9/11 and the war on terror. It makes the argument that whistleblowers play an essential role: Leaks are a necessary prophylactic, especially when they reveal the abuse of public authority and the harm done to the rights of citizens.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Police: Finding Pirate Bay Documents is Too Expensive

        City of London Police have denied a Freedom of Information request for access to correspondence relating to The Pirate Bay. According to the police it would take more than 18 hours to locate the requested information and would therefore cost too much money.

08.23.14

Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

Posted in News Roundup at 7:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • The whale that swallowed New Zealand’s election campaign

    A spectacular exposé alleging prime minister John Key and his National party colleagues were involved in dirty tricks campaigns has created the most significant political maelstrom in nearly six years in office and blown the government’s re-election strategy dramatically off course, writes Toby Manhire

  • Women significantly outnumber teenage boys in gamer demographics

    Adult female gamers have unseated boys under the age of 18 as the largest video game-playing demographic in the U.S., according to a recently published study from the Entertainment Software Association, a trade group focused the U.S. gaming industry.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • ASIO explains why Australians can fight for some terrorists and not others

      In the past week, the Abbott government has revealed a new package of anti-terrorism laws targeting Australian jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria that aroused the resentment of several Islamic community representatives. Recently, ASIO chief David Irvine decided to meet with a team of Arab-speaking journalists in Sydney in an attempt to communicate his message, which centred on the distinction between a War on Terror and a War on Islam.

    • Events in Ferguson show why we read the news: entertainment

      When the hysteria began following the revelations about NSA surveillance, I predicted that we’d have an enjoyable hissy fit — then nothing would change (details here). And 14 months later little has changed (perhaps nothing). Now the events in Ferguson MO have sparked a new cycle of outrage over the militarization of police. My prediction is that again little or nothing will change. Here we consider why public outrage has so little effect: news is just entertainment.

    • Indian Army seals cross-border tunnel that sneaks in terrorists

      After Modi ministry came to power, violations per day by Pakistan army has escalated. The reason being that cross border infiltration by terrorists has been stopped by Indian Army. The combined efforts of Indian Army acting on NSA’s advise based in IM, RAW and IB is making J&K becoming hot for jihadis. The tunnel was discovered two weeks back and since then Pakistan has not stopped attack on Indian Army outposts. The Pak Army has admitted that two civilians were dead and soldiers injured on their side.

    • Demand Swells for Straight Answers on the Downing of Malaysian Airlines’ MH17 in Ukraine

      A long list of prominent individuals has signed, a number of organizations will be promoting next week, and you can be one of the first to sign right now, a petition titled “Call For Independent Inquiry of the Airplane Crash in Ukraine and its Catastrophic Aftermath.”

    • ISIS a Jewish Plot? Propaganda and Islamic Jihad

      The combination of events – first, the anti-Semitism expressed by IS supporters and, then, the anti-Semitism by calling IS itself a Jewish plot – is more than simply dizzying. It is treacherous. And it can lead only to the creation of more widespread Jew hate, and thorough confusion among politicians, security agencies, and the police.

    • A pleasant surprise for Washington

      Germany’s announcement that it was ready to arm Iraqi Kurdish fighters against IS was neither expected nor demanded by the US. And yet it’s a welcome boost for the Obama administration – and also helps Berlin.

    • Did an Israeli Sniper Kill an Unarmed Man in Gaza?

      An Israeli activist has told Channel 4 News that he has gathered testimony from three Israeli soldiers who said they witnessed Shamaly’s killing. “They were completely convinced that what they did was wrong,” the Israeli activist, Eran Efrati, said. “They were guilty. The man in the green shirt was not any threat to their lives.”

    • Assassin’s Creed: Taking Out Individuals as a War Strategy

      Israel was the first country to incorporate targeted assassination into its law books, followed by America, which since the September 11, 2001, attacks has perfected the use of sophisticated drones to target terrorist leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    • How many Palestinian civilians is a single militant worth?

      As of Thursday, 76.8 percent of the 2,090 fatalities documented by the Gazan human rights organization Mizan have been civilians.

    • Drone strike kills 6 Pakistani militants, including senior commander in Kunar

      At least six members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were killed following a drone strike in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan.

      Provincial police chief for Kunar province, Gen. Abdul Habib Syed Khel, confirmed that six Pakistani militants were killed following a drone strike by coalition forces.

    • Hamas executes 18 alleged spies for Israel

      Gaza gunmen executed 18 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel Friday, including seven who were lined up behind a mosque with bags over their heads and shot in front of hundreds of people.

      The killings came in response to Israel’s deadly airstrike against three top Hamas military commanders.The incident occurred after more than six weeks of heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas.

    • US debates more robust Syria intervention

      The Obama administration is debating a more robust intervention in Syria, including possible US airstrikes, in a significant escalation of its weeks-long military assault on the Islamic extremist group that has destabilised neighbouring Iraq and killed a US journalist, officials said on Friday.

    • Hamas executes ‘collaborators’
    • Hamas admits its men abducted Israeli teens, says its leaders didn’t know

      A Hamas official admitted Friday that militants from his group abducted three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June, but the official said the kidnappers did not tell their leaders about the action.

    • Gaza mortar fire kills child in southern Israel

      An Israeli child was killed by mortar fire from Gaza on Friday, the army said, bringing the number of civilians killed in Israel during the 46-day conflict with Hamas to four.

    • Israel says boy killed by Gaza mortar bomb
    • Jury acquits anti-drone protester

      A six-person jury acquitted anti-drone protester Russell Brown on July 31 in an East Syracuse, N.Y., court of all charges after he testified about how current U.S. murderous drone strikes are like the U.S. war crimes committed during the ­Vietnam War.

      Brown was on trial for an April 2013 protest at Hancock National Guard Airbase in Syracuse. He smeared himself with red dye to represent the death of drone victims and lay down in a roadway in front of the base. He was arrested and faced charges carrying a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

    • Egypt Army Bombs Weapons Facility Allegedly Linked To Hamas
    • Families of Victims of One Drone Strike in Yemen Paid more than an Entire Year’s Worth of Victims in Afghanistan

      In the twisted world of compensation for errant drone attacks, an attempt at making up for killing innocent civilians in one country has proven far more valuable than a year’s worth of slaughter in another nation.

    • Yemen: Victims of U.S. Drone Strike on Wedding Party Got $1 Million Payout

      The family members of 12 people killed and others injured in a U.S. drone strike on a wedding party in Yemen last year have received condolence payments totaling more than $1 million. Documents provided by the group Reprieve to The Washington Post show the payment ostensibly came from the Yemeni government, but the high amount suggests the U.S. government is providing reimbursement. The documents also show the identities of those killed. They include a 29-year-old man identified as an associate of a Yemeni group working against Islamist militancy.

    • OPINION: Violations of International Law Denigrate U.N.
    • Civilian Victims Of U.S. Drone Strike In Yemen Reportedly Receive Over $1 Million
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rupert Murdoch, the man who put the ‘twit’ into Twitter

      It’s a time when PR outfits have to bat on through the dog days of summer with very little of any substance to rely on. So they pump out a welter of verbiage in the hope that equally desperate journalists will discern a gleaming nugget lurking in the dross, pick it up,and give it a polish. Indeed, it is so bad I actually came very close to writing a piece about a GPS service that tracks the whereabouts of cats on their nocturnal peregrinations. In the end though I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Dignity, you know, always dignity.

      That said, I couldn’t resist this one. The Foxy one himself, for it is he, Rupert Murdoch, an occasional user of Twitter after discovering social media in the halcyon years of his mid-dotage, has taken to the medium again to express the opinion that Google is worse than America’s NSA!

      Here’s the twit’s deathless Twitter in full, “NSA privacy invasion bad but nothing compared to Google”. Now that has to be enough to make the aforementioned tabby chortle it’s little furry bootees off.

  • Censorship

    • The Military Is Banning Soldiers from Reading Documents Everyone Else Can See

      The government isn’t just keeping track of what civilians are looking at online. They’re also concerned with the browsing habits of their own soldiers.

    • Islamic State joins Diaspora, let’s debunk some myths

      Diaspora, an open source, distributed social network, has come under fire recently for not being able to censor members of Islamic State in the same fashion that Facebook and Twitter have.

      Recent articles in the mainstream press explain how Diaspora doesn’t have a central body with the ability to remove users or their posts because of the distributed nature of the network, however these claims seem ill-considered as they aren’t correct.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Gabbard calls for demilitarizing police

      Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has called for demilitarizing of American police.

    • Green Party: Demilitarize the police, end racial disparities and bring justice to the criminal justice system

      Greens speak out in the wake of the police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., warn about the emergence of a police state

    • Godwin’s Law

      Keep the sentiment of Godwin’s Law in mind as you read, listen, write and speak here and elsewhere. Hyperbole exists, can be sneaky or unintended, and actually can ruin the importance of what you have to say. The legitimacy of your point could be threatened by such dire comparisons. If you don’t even bother trying to catch it, well then truly, you are worse than Hitler.

    • Militarization of our police threatens democracy

      The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the heavy-handed police tactics that have followed point to a growing problem in this country: the threat of a police state that endangers not only public safety, but democracy itself.

      After the fatal shooting of the unarmed Brown by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, local law enforcement descended upon the city like an occupying force, complete with military weapons, tear gas, rubber bullets and armored personnel carriers.

    • Cop-Tech: The Inevitable Future of Policing

      By now, we’ve heard much about the militarization of police forces, but not so much about other advances in cop-tech that could be as consequential. With national attention lingering on the issue of police brutality — some 400 police killings take place per year, according to USA Today — questions around new policing technologies are pressing. Some of the new gadgets, like Taser’s officer cam, are meant to foster accountability. But others aim to keep pace with increasingly connected and tech-savvy criminals. The civil libertarians are fretting.

    • The Same Hashish They Give Out

      As the public release of the Senate’s report on a four-year investigation into the CIA’s torture program approaches, John Brennan, the agency’s director, is in an uncomfortable spotlight. The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the CIA, has accused the agency of abusing its power. See Brave New Films’ short video below.

    • White House Touts Petition Site But Many Await Replies

      The White House could hardly contain itself earlier this month when President Barack Obama signed a bill allowing American consumers to unlock their cell phones. The bill was driven in part by the White House’s own petition website, “We The People,” and touted as an example of a new model of citizen advocacy influencing change in Washington.

    • Police officer suspended after branding Ferguson protesters ‘rabid dogs’

      St Louis police say it has suspended one of its officers expressed contempt for the protesters on his Facebook account

    • Elderly Hackney pastor has heart attack after ‘botched police raid’

      A police spokesman confirmed officers had obtained a warrant for the raid, but admitted no drugs were found or arrests made. She added: “We are aware an official complaint is being lodged. Under these circumstances it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • DeMaio Campaign Says Peters Waffles on Net Neutrality

      The Carl DeMaio campaign on Thursday accused Rep. Scott Peters of siding with the cable industry in efforts to undermine net neutrality.

      Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers should treat all data on the Internet equally. Cable industry leaders argue that providers of data-intensive services such as movie delivery should be given preferential treatment if they pay more.

Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

Posted in FUD, Google, Microsoft at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft

OVER THE years we have demonstrated that payments from Microsoft have a strong correlation to Android and/or Google FUD. Examples included Ben Edelman, Microsoft Florian, and Edward Naughton. Microsoft either pays people to publicly smear the biggest competition or rewards people for smearing Microsoft’s biggest competition. Sometimes the source of the smear is a Microsoft-connected company; we gave some examples of these over the years. These connections are a lot more transparent.

There were many cases where Xuxian Jiang, who had worked for Microsoft, slammed Android, making that his hobby/academic goal. Now we are seeing yet another guy from Microsoft (see his resume that he makes available in his Web site) making a career out of Android FUD. His name is Zhiyun Qian. He worked for Microsoft 4 years ago. Suffice to say, not every criticism of Android and not every Chinese/Taiwanese critic of Android is Microsoft-connected (consider the complaint of Chih-Wei Huang for example), but the point we are making is that when one criticises Android it is worth checking if there have been payments from Microsoft because it very often turns out to be the case.

Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenDocument at 4:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)

Microsoft’s attempts to corrupt Chile seem to have brought nothing but blowback. Microsoft and its minion got shamed and the FOSS policy will soon get even stronger. Moreover, Microsoft is making Chile’s anti-lobbying laws stronger by basically trying to lobby and to write legislation by proxy. It shows that this wholly malicious strategy from Microsoft is finally not paying off, thanks in part to reporters who exposed what had happened. Well done, Chile!

We can safely assume that what Microsoft is doing in Chile right now it also tried to do in the UK e.g. pressuring the Cabinet Office regarding its pro-ODF policy. Microsoft, by all indications, is not a scapegoat; it’s not hated because of “jealousy” or because of its size. It is not hated for being incompetent or for being shoddy (which its software is). The company is corrupt. It’s a criminal enterprise with a long track record to show it. Thankfully, however, we keep seeing new stories that show us just how corrupt Microsoft really is. People who deny this are simply ignoring reality.

Today we have several updates from Chile and from Munich, Germany. Citing this article from Miguel Parada, Softpedia writes:

Fresh on the heels of the entire Munich and Linux debacle, another story involving Microsoft and free software has popped up across the world, in Chile. A prolific magazine from the South American country says that the powerful Microsoft lobby managed to turn around a law that would allow the authorities to use free software.

Towards the end it is also connected to what’s happening in Munich. To quote: “Microsoft has been in the news in the last few days because the German city of Munich that adopted Linux and dropped Windows system from its administration was considering, supposedly, returning to proprietary software.

“This new situation in Chile give us a sample of the kind of pull a company like Microsoft has and it shows us just how fragile laws really are. This is not the first time a company tries to bend the laws in a country to maximize the profits, but the advent of free software and the clear financial advantages that it offers are really making a dent.

“Five years ago, few people or governments would have considered adopting free software, but the quality of that software has risen dramatically and it has become a real competition for the likes of Microsoft.”

Richard Stallman is visiting Chile right now (coinciding with a Microsoft scandal over there). Here is a new article about Stallman’s reaction to what Microsoft is doing in Chile. He was there at the right time and he will hopefully raise issues like privacy, digital autonomy, and economic benefits of using FOSS (local engineers being in charge), and so on. Ernesto Manríquez told us that “MS lobby [is] in a 65 million dollar market, and how Vlado Mirosevic lost his innocence,” based on this new article in Spanish (we won’t provide automated translations as anyone is able to do so upon desire). Manríquez also told us that “Chilean Chamber of Deputies to harden anti-lobby law after Microsoft scandal,” based on this article in Spanish.

This is very relevant to the Microsoft propaganda against Munich for its successful migration to GNU/Linux. In the wake of revelations about NSA surveillance in Latin America and Germany (for espionage, not antiterrorism) this should matter a lot. Microsoft and the NSA are in bed together and this means that Chile would be worse than foolish to embrace anything at all from Microsoft (even some random application). This is why Munich did the right thing. It went to FOSS all the way. It’s not difficult for the NSA to crack.

Simon Sharwood has not yet caught up with the latest news from Chile, but he did cover (in English) what Microsoft had done there:

Microsoft successfully lobbied against a law that would have seen Chile’s government adopt open-source software, says Elmostrador, a newspaper in the South American nation.

The publication’s report tells the tale of Vlado Mirosevic, a left-leaning politician who is the leader of the Chilean Liberal Party and its only representative in the national parliament.

In April this year, Mirosevic proposed a bill that would have compelled Chile’s government agencies to at least consider open-source software. Buying proprietary software would still be possible, once an agency justified the decision.

Manríquez is meanwhile showing us articles like this one (in Spanish) about what he calls “The long arm of Microsoft lobby and political connections” (familiar issue).

Microsoft is not a company but more like a political movement or a secret society/sect that infiltrates governments. We have already given many examples of Microsoft’s use of connections in government for corruption, including massive tax evasion (worth billions of dollars). See examples from Europe, from the US, and from India. The relationships often work like bribery in terms of money rolling back to politicians’ pockets when they give public money to Microsoft through contracts. Sometimes Microsoft veterans move to politics (where they use their newly-acquired power to help Microsoft) — or conversely — politicians being promised a salary from Microsoft in the future. This is the “Revolving doors” type of bribery. Classic! We already saw how one Microsoft veteran facilitated Microsoft’s massive tax evasion in the United States after he had infiltrated government.

A follower from Argentina told us last night we would be interested in this new report about Microsoft admitting that it avoids $29 billion in US taxes (just US). If that’s not enough to show just how corrupt Microsoft is, what will be?

Going back to Munich, the Microsoft boosters who distorted the story didn’t actually stick to facts. Munich complains about misreporting. As Jim Lynch put it the other day:

I saw that story floating around many sites yesterday and decided to hold off commenting about it. There was just something about it that rubbed me the wrong way, and I’m glad I waited before including it in a roundup.

Frankly though, it doesn’t surprise me that some sites would jump the gun and use it as an opportunity to belittle or bash Linux. We’ve seen this kind of thing before where a tempest in a teacup gets blown all out of proportion and suddenly Linux is doomed or whatever.

Unfortunately, even after the current wave of stories about Munich fades away, we’ll see the same sort of journalistic shenanigans about Linux happen again at some point. It’s just too easy and too tempting for some sites to gain traffic and ad revenue by jumping on the anti-Linux bandwagon.

After systematic lying about Munich how many people out there are still misled by Microsoft MVPs and partners pretending to be journalists? This is a war on perceptions after all.

As Susan Linton put it, “Monday we reported that Munich was throwing in the Linux towel, but today we find that may not be exactly the case.”

This other report makes it clear that Microsoft OOXML — not FOSS or GNU/Linux — is the problem. To quote: “Hauf also confirms that council staff have, and do, complain about LiMux, but that the majority of issues stem from compatibility issues in OpenOffice, something a potential switch to LibreOffice could solve.”

This is a Microsoft issue, not a FOSS issue, and this is why the UK is now moving to ODF (OOXML not allowed) in the public sector. Remember what Microsoft did in Chile for OOXML.

Microsoft is a criminal company. Even after Ballmer’s departure nothing has changed. As Microsoft is inherently and deeply connected with governments (moles and former staff), don’t expect Microsoft executives to be sent to prison, not even when it’s caught bribing officials around the world (which happens).

OOXML is fraud

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