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07.10.14

OpenDocument Format (ODF) Still Alive and Kicking

Posted in Office Suites, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 4:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

But we may need Google’s help

Building

Summary: Caligra, WebODF and various influential nations’ departure from Microsoft Office will help famous projects such as OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice make ODF the only international standard for editable documents exchange

NOW that the latest Microsoft Office may be banned in China (China, Korea and maybe Russia are moving away from Window and thus away from Microsoft Office too) there is a real chance, boosted not only by BRICS nations, that ODF will be very widespread. The recent new release of Caligra (covered some days ago in our daily links), the advance of WebODF [1] into various frameworks [2] and applications [3], the exciting news from Korea [4] and even actions towards standards and interoperability in Europe [5,6] give us many reasons for optimism. People who state that ODF is “dead” or “nobody uses it” basically try to justify defeatism and continued (exponential) dependence on Microsoft through the network effect.

While some people prefer simpler formats [7], others continue to stick to office suites. Microsoft is trying to invade the Android empire, putting lots of OOXML in it (with Google’s help [8,9]) and now we see claims that Microsoft is ‘supporting’ Android by merely giving proprietary spyware with lock-in to it (for OOXML), not just adding spyware to it and then packaging it as ‘Nokia by Microsoft’:

We have already seen the launch of Nokia’s first Android-powered smartphones under the Nokia X brand earlier this year. And now it seems Microsoft is planning to bring a similar experience for its users under the Lumia brand.

New information from the famous tipster @evleaks suggests that Android-powered Lumia smartphones are currently being developed under the ‘Nokia by Microsoft’ brand.

We have seen a lot of OOXML openwashing as of late. We also criticised Google for its stance on document formats. What we shall end up with as the widespread standards very much depends on the actions of large corporations, not just people (whose choices will be limited by corporations). We need to push hard for ODF and it will most likely win, especially as more and more nations dump Microsoft Office. Google has control over many users’ choice of document formats (Google Apps, Android, ChromeOS), so we need to put more pressure on Google to go against the flow (Microsoft formats) and with the future, which is ODF.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. WebODF v0.5.0 released: Highlights

    Today, after a long period of hard work and preparation, having deemed the existing WebODF codebase stable enough for everyday use and for integration into other projects, we have tagged the v0.5.0 release and published an announcement on the project website.

  2. WebODF meets ownCloud to fix what’s wrong with Google Docs

    Google Docs is a great resource for collaborative editing and online document editing, however it has one of the greatest problems of all – it doesn’t support the ISO approved document standard ODF. Which leaves governments, businesses and individuals locked into Microsoft’s .docx format.

  3. WebODF Travels

    Yesterday WebODF released v 0.5.0 complete with a library, web editor and FireFox plugin.

  4. South Korea gives up on Microsoft

    South Korea is using the fact that Windows XP is no longer supported as a reason to walk away from Microsoft completely.

    According to a government statement, South Korea wants to break from its Microsoft dependency and move to open source software by 2020″

  5. Optimising Joinup’s interoperability app repository

    First, we hope to boost reuse of these solutions by improving the project descriptions. Over the past months, we selected 40 projects on Joinup that we expect to have the highest potential for reuse, taking into account such factors as the maturity of the project, its use in cross-border cooperation and licence. Together with the project developers, we improved the descriptions of these projects and enhanced their metadata. For example, we added pointers to existing implementations, details on the intended users and ways to participate.

  6. What’s up with Open Standards?

    It is hard enough for people to understand what protocols such as TCP/IP do. These open standards however are invisible to most of them, even if they’re using them on a daily basis. Other open standards, such as OpenDocument Format, are probably not conceivable by some people, who think that an office document is “an extension of Microsoft Office”. I have even heard of teachers, here in France, who refused to even mention ODF because such a thing “could not possibly exist”. The conceptual distinction between a file and an application has not permeated much, even in the twenty first century.

  7. ODT to TXT, but keep the line numbering

    The title explains what this article is about. If you save an .odt file as text, or copy/paste the contents as a text file, or run odt2txt or the unoconv utility, you lose the apparent line structure of the original, and with it the line numbering. But there is a way…

  8. Google Shuts the Door on QuickOffice, as its Work is Done

    At last week’s Google I/O conference, the company announced new levels of compatibility with Microsoft Office documents in its Google Docs cloud-based applications, including the ability to edit Office documents. These capabilities are driven through QuickOffice, a toolset that Google acquired back in 2012. Quickoffice has provided close compatibility with the Microsoft Office file formats, ranging from .doc to .xlsx, for users of Google Docs.

  9. Google kills QuickOffice for iOS and Android, what does it document interoperability?

    When Google acquired QuickOffice back in, we assued it was an effort to bring Microsoft Office like capabilities to mobile devices as there was no polished Office Suite back then. Then Google started integrating QuickOffice into its own Google Docs and there were signs that the company may kill the standalone app.

The Effect of Corporate Media Bias: FOSS Demonisation and Microsoft Openwashing

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 4:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A set of very recent examples where the corporate press produces FOSS-hostile articles (or pro-Microsoft articles) by citing biased sources of convenience

Nowadays, and especially in the past few months, those of us who exhaustively scan news feeds (as Techrights has done for nearly a decade) would be seeing a relatively new angle for attacking FOSS. After Microsoft had tried using copyrights with SCO as well as patents through all sorts of proxies (and directly) Microsoft-linked groups, including Black Duck, generated more licensing FUD while monetising it (two birds, one stone). Here is the latest example from the news. It is a classic ‘script’ and it is hosted by IDG, which also offered some Black Duck staff (the one cited here) permanent blog space (a very FOSS-hostile blog). The angle, in short, is inherently anti-GPL, claiming that enterprises are afraid of it. Another Microsoft-linked firm, OpenLogic, used and disseminated the same talking point. These are FUD agencies and this is their purpose — to help marginalise FOSS and produce FUD, creating a warped debate in all kinds of events, surveys etc. that they organise. Very nasty. They actually make money from this.

“These are FUD agencies and this is their purpose — to help marginalise FOSS and produce FUD…”Here is another new example. Acting as if one bug in the code of OpenSSL is somehow so Earth-changing for FOSS as a whole, the corporate press is trying to keep the word “Heartbleed” in the headlines [1, 2]. We wrote about this some days ago and highlighted the insidious connection to Microsoft. This is just another angle of FUD: the security angle. Now that Windows XP is not supported (or not being patched) Microsoft needs to create the illusion that FOSS is “equally insecure”, or something along those lines. And this FUD works. We have seen the effect. I see the effect all the time.

Now, watch another such piece of news-flavoured FUD. Python is now the most popular introductory teaching language at top U.S. universities, according to ACM, but the Microsoft-friendly media emits licensing FUD from a familiar source of FOSS FUD, WhiteSource. Adrian Bridgwater, with his mixed history on FOSS (often FOSS-hostile), wrote in Microsoft-friendly media the headline “43% Python Open Source Libraries ‘Potentially Risky’”. This sounds like security FUD, but it’s actually licensing FUD. To quote:

The study suggested that a large percentage of the libraries are under restrictive licenses. The repercussion here may be that while many Python programmers report substantial productivity gains, the use of open source Python components introduces new challenges.

The so-called ‘study’ comes from WhiteSource, which has a consistent track record of attacking FOSS.

This is the type of trash that dominates the press these days. Who is funding those ‘studies’ and why is it so fashionable to attack FOSS using made up (or merely perceived) risks? These questions are largely rhetorical.

Condé Nasty’s Wired has meanwhile produced yet another openwashing Microsoft piece, nicely disguised with a teasing headline (“Watch Steve Ballmer Mock Linux While Dressed as The Matrix’s Neo”). It would have readers believe that Microsoft is now a friend of FOSS. This site has been doing this for a number of years now, as we repeatedly pointed out before. The new owner seems to have an agenda very different from the original owners’. Wired turned into something suspiciously weird under Condé Nasty’s management.

Wired turned into something suspiciously weird under Condé Nasty’s management.”As we showed before, there are gullible CIOs like Jos Creese who seem like the target audience for this. IDG even has a site called CIO. Facebook too has an openwashing campaign going on (we recently showed more examples of that) and openwashing has been effective at stopping government migrations to FOSS. The British press offers some responses to this trend, include this new article which says:

And Creese isn’t alone in his attachment to Microsoft. Alan Shields, architect team manager at Cambridgeshire County Council, says: “It is incredibly difficult to get away from the stranglehold of Microsoft products, and we are planning to reinforce this by entering into an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft later this year.”

Other British press goes further with another FOSS-hostile piece from Adrian Bridgwater. To quote parts of it:

Mike James on i-programmer isn’t happy either.

James bemoans the reticence, caginess and ok then downright old stubbornness Microsoft has exhibited over its refusal to open source VB6.

VB6 (or Visual Basic 7) is programming language and IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that dates back to the heady CD-ROM centric days of 1991.

Today the Visual Basic 6.0 Resource Center is mainly focused on selling your migration and “upgrades from” than championing that which was once much loved.

James bemoans the fact that Microsoft “killed” VB6 but now refuses to open source the language despite the firm’s “warmth” for open source.

What warmth?

This rather bizarre piece from Adrian Bridgwater, who has a history of being soft on Microsoft, does not quote any Microsoft critics but only Microsoft boosters who want a little bit more from Microsoft. It is overall a very one-sided article, where the opposition (‘balance’) is basically also in favour of Microsoft (both the pros and cons are Microsoft-friendly). It is a Fox ‘news’-style debate, biasing the hypothesis and pushing for a particular, preconceived outcome, openwashing Microsoft with a list of talking points and then citing a Microsoft booster, Dr. Dobbs’ Andrew Binstock (i-programmer is also pro-Microsoft and .NET/Mono, as we last noted very recently). Binstock is the Microsoft-boosting editor of Dr. Dobbs (with history of whitewashing Microsoft crimes), who is now ‘pulling a Scroogle’ as well. It is essential to remember that Dr. Dobbs too changed management not too long ago. It’s not at all what it used to be.

The final message we wish to get across is that the media is full of FUD and filled with FOSS-hostile articles. Many of them are easy to explain when knowing the background of the authors, the firms that they cite (often Microsoft-linked), and the agenda of the publisher, which is often designed to favour proprietary software (the advertisers). If these pieces of FUD are not being highlighted and challenged, then there’s risk that there will be perception of no opposition to them, hence they must be “true”.

07.07.14

The NSA’s Top (and First) PRISM Partner, Microsoft, Lies to Governments and Businesses as Office Gets Banned in China

Posted in Asia, Deception, Microsoft, Office Suites, Security at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No Microsoft Office in China

Office

Summary: Developments in China reveal that security and privacy threats posed by reliance on Microsoft are so great that a ban becomes inevitable and continues to expand (Microsoft put on more and more block lists and blacklists)

Let’s face it. Microsoft is in very serious trouble. Citing security, China already bans Windows (latest version), a top cash cow of Microsoft Corporation, which has only a few profitable products. Microsoft is now trying to warp the debate and deny back doors, even though Snowden provided evidence that speaks for itself. Windows has back doors that the NSA is exploiting. The other cash cow, Office (latest version), is also being banned in China, again for security reasons. Microsoft as a whole is being banned and censored, little by little (even its surveillance proxy, Yahoo, is being censored). This will be a big gain for free/libre office suites, including some Chinese versions (IBM employed people in China to work on OpenOffice with ODF). We will write more about the FOSS angle some time tomorrow as it’s a broad (and rapidly-broadening) subject.

Watch the Microsoft propaganda and vengeance in Microsoft media. For instance, says a Microsoft MVP and longtime booster (without mentioning Microsoft’s strong connection with the NSA), there is “malicious intent” here. It is actually a matter of national security because the NSA breaks into networks of companies like Huawei. Who is really malicious then? Here is a better and newer article about the ban of Microsoft Office 360 (5 days downtime). “Microsoft is working very hard to change the way that people see them,” says one article (part of this latest propaganda campaign [1, 2, 3, 4]) and the key word is “see”. No changed behaviour is part of the plan, especially when it comes to security and privacy. It is about perception. Some influential publishers who were paid by Microsoft are helping this perception management campaign right now, which proves that to Microsoft it’s all about marketing, not policy. The article “Microsoft Office Banned by China” generalises to make it seem like Office on the desktop too is banned and since it is written by a Microsoft MVP in a Microsoft sites we can expect the usual ridicule of China. Here is part of the full article from the Microsoft booster:

In April of this year, Microsoft made Office 365 available in China through a partnership with 21Vianet. Office 365, of course, is Microsoft’s online, Cloud edition of the industry leading office productivity software.

China represents a huge potential market for Microsoft. In addition to the launch of Office 365 in the country, Microsoft cut the ribbon on a new Azure datacenter in March.

But, Microsoft’s march to China dominance has been severely hampered as of late, and it seems with malicious intent by the country’s leadership.

This is great news, but a lot of the Western media has not picked this up. Interesting. Maybe there’s fear that this might inspire other governments.

Microsoft’s Propaganda Machine Tries to Shift Security Debate Amid Serious Catastrophes

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Security, Site News at 5:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Observations and analysis of some recent deception in corporate news sites (like Condé Nasty), trying to pretend that Microsoft is secure, that Microsoft is pursuing security, and that FOSS and Android security or privacy are inherently poor

THE KARMA (or blowback) that Microsoft is meeting right now is a result of it sucking up (for government subsidies) to the NSA et al. for a decade and a half. Putting back doors in one’s software is not a safe bet for a business.

As longtime Internet saboteur (most recently Microsoft broke No-IP and offered no real apology, knowing perhaps it would fuel lawsuits by admission) Microsoft should never be trusted for anything Web-based. This is perhaps why China has put Microsoft’s latest Office push on the blacklist. “Yesterday,” said one article “Microsoft convinced a judge to let it take over No-IP’s DNS service, shutting down name service for many websites, in order to stop a malware attack. Today, the company fake-pologized.”

Never mind the fact that, as we explained before, the malware was partly Microsoft’s fault, for making a piece of software that’s insecure by design (and with back doors). “Microsoft’s PR mailout says that “some customers” experienced “temporary” loss of service but that everything was fine now; shortly after, the company’s PR emailed journalists again to say that things were still massively screwed up. It blamed the whole mess on a “technical error,” but when you look at what the judge believed about No-IP when the order came down, it’s clear that the “technical error” was a gross overstatement of both No-IP’s involvement in Microsoft’s woes, and the best way to sort them out.”

Notice how Microsoft is rallying so-called journalists. It is a company of liars and cover-ups. Why would anyone believe a single word?

The very fact that Microsoft was able to shut down millions of legitimate services shows just how much Microsoft corrupted its government. It used the Court for powers like hijacking a whole network. The No-IP story turned out to be far more outrageous than most people realised, as the press had been deceiving them at Microsoft’s behest. People should be fuming and Microsoft sued out of existence, but we just don’t know if this is actually going to happen. If Tux Machines was still on No-IP (as it had been for year, until recently), then it would have been one among millions of victims, potentially down for days.

Now, watch the audacity of Microsoft. With help from Gates’ fan press it pretends to be “against the NSA” and “transparent”. A lie bigger than that is hard to imagine, but this is marketing. This is part of a propaganda campaign which is going on at the moment (in many countries) and would have the gullible believe that Microsoft ‘fights back’ against the NSA, or something along those lines. One piece of propaganda was titled “Microsoft mocks NSA” and another doubts that it is “NSA-proof” (it is not, as with PRISM Microsoft can provide direct access, never mind NSLs).

Corporate media is meanwhile trying hard to push FOSS as “insecure” back into the debate. Gates’ fan press recently did this (citing familiar FOSS-hostile firms) and ‘Information’ Age conflates “proprietary” with “enterprise”, insinuating that FOSS is inherently not for enterprises (this is another type of FUD). Apparently, in addition to all that, a few lines of code (one bug) are the beginning of a new world. It’s that “Heartbleed” nonsense — a word coined by a Microsoft-linked firm for greater impact in an already-FOSS-hostile media (here is Adrian Bridgwater’s cheeky attacks on FOSS, using/exploiting news from 3 months ago, and here is another example). What corporate press rarely tells reader about “Heartbleed” is the insidious connection to Microsoft. There are those who look for bugs in old versions of Android which can leak location data because of the Wi-Fi stack, but these are not critical. “Android phones running 3.1 and newer versions of Google’s mobile operating system are leaking Wi-Fi connection histories, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has discovered,” says one source. Furthermore, says The Mukt, “Android seems to be the center of attention when it comes to mobile security concerns. In the latest, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has made claims that if you are an Android smartphones user, there is a high risk that your location history is being broadcasted to those within your Wi-Fi range.”

So basically, when it comes to FOSS there is nothing to really complain about except privacy bugs and some security bug from three months ago. As Ryan pointed out some days ago in IRC (citing IDG): “UPDATE: IBM on Monday corrected its report to say that the problem is not as widespread as originally thought. “The vulnerability affects Android 4.3 only. Thanks for the Android Security Team for correcting our advisory,” IBM said. About 10.3 percent of Android devices run Android 4.3.”

“That’s some sloppy reporting,” Ryan wrote. “First they reported that 86% of Android devices were affected by a critical security hole. Then they issued a correction, that it was only one version of Android that represents 10% of devices, and not even the latest version. We also don’t know that all Android 4.3 devices are affected, because OEMs can backport patches to their current firmware even when they don’t want to do a major Android upgrade at the moment. Archos kept backporting patches to Android 4.0 for a long time.

The original report, as far as we can tell, came from Android and Linux basher Dan Goodin. He led the way for writers, including in his former employer, to hide up an Android vulnerability. “It’s hard to exploit,” said his former employer, but in Condé Nasty it is called “serious”. This, in our view, is part of the hype which seeks to paint FOSS as ” insecure”, never mind the many back doors we now know of in proprietary software like Microsoft’s.

Just remember that Condé Nasty, and especially its writer Dan Goodin, has been on some kind of villainous Jihad against GNU/Linux for months now, distorting facts to make it seem as thought FOSS cannot be trusted.

To us it seems clear why all this FUD is being disseminated. Citing security concerns, large governments are moving away from pricey proprietary software with back doors, notably Microsoft’s. Watch Microsoft lying to governments of the world:

No backdoors in our code: Microsoft bid to convince governments

[...]

In yet another sign that the revelations about blanket NSA spying are biting into business revenue, Microsoft is offering to open up its source code to governments so they can satisfy themselves that there are no backdoors implanted.

[...]

There appears to be a fear among technology companies that if Microsoft is forced to do the government’s bidding, then American cloud businesses which operate in other countries could stand to lose a lot of business.

Snowden’s revelations have led to a drop in overseas business for at least two technology firms – Cisco and IBM. Additionally, the Boeing company lost an order from Brazil, which opted to go with Sweden’s Saab for $US4.5 billion worth of aircraft.

These are lies and Snowden’s revelations provided enough hard evidence to prove this. Expect many more attacks on FOSS from a security angle. Microsoft will try to save its cash cows, using a new ‘flavour’ of disinformation, as usual.

Despite SCOTUS Ruling, Microsoft Still Extorts Companies and Product Buyers Using FAT Software Patents, Latest Victim is Canon

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Patents at 4:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The FAT police is at it again

Steve Ballmer FAT

Summary: Canon and Microsoft sign a patent deal which relates to patents on FAT file systems and impacts some of Canon’s products, potentially Linux products as well (Canon makes drivers for Linux but does not develop products with Android or GNU/Linux just yet)

While we are unaware of any Android- or Linux-based products from Canon, the company does deliver drivers for FOSS platforms, especially since under a decade ago (we covered this quite often at the time of a turnaround). Therefore it is regretful to learn about FAT patents, which were disgraced by entities and people including Torvalds (there is prior art and TomTom never pushed the case to the end), are used to tax Canon products or legitimise FAT patents.

Linux-centric sites hardly paid attention to it last week, but someone in IRC told us about it. Looking it up very quickly we found Microsoft’s booster Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet saying: “Today’s patent agreement isn’t the first forged by the two companies. Canon previously licensed Microsoft exFAT file system technology for an undisclosed amount.”

Sometimes companies pay for it via Microsoft partners such as Tuxera, but sometimes there are deals like this one. The OIN’s CEO told us over the telephone that Microsoft has been using FAT patents while calling them “Linux-related” or something along those line in the case of LG and maybe Samsung also (Samsung’s deal seems to have been broader than that the second time around).

Nikon's deal with Microsoft was quite different and the booster correctly pointed out: “Today’s agreement also is not part of Microsoft’s ongoing campaign to convince companies using Linux, Android and ChromeOS to license its patents. Nikon announced an Android-related patent licensing deal with Microsoft in February 2013.”

This is not entirely true because the deal practically serves to legitimise exFAT, which is a common attack vector on embedded Linux. The post from the booster (hogwash of sorts) attracts comments from Microsoft sceptics, who know a lot better what Microsoft has been up to. There are comments such as: “Do we need a repeat of FAT? If I see a product’s filesystem using exFAT I will return it.”

Another person says: “The fact the the US Supreme Court recently re-addressed software patents is a move in the positive direction, even though it was not a large move. While much damage has already been done since these huge giants like Microsoft and IBM already have an enormous software patent portfolio, at least there is hope in future software patent releases. Eventually, technology will advance forward and the current software patent portfolios will probably start to become stale, at which point I can see the general public begin to feel the advantages if we make the right decisions today moving forward. But, we must end the monopolies that this huge companies get with their enormous patent portfolios. The trend in software patents granted within the past 30 years or so is staggering, just do some searches on this subject as it is well worth the reads. My hope is that we don’t continue to make the same mistakes moving forward.”

Canon has many patents on physical and mechanical or optical things like lenses. Microsoft has mostly software patents, which may be utterly worthless in the eyes of SCOTUS, as opposed to the USPTO that granted them without scrutiny. The USPTO has just become even more zealous about patents and it approves almost every patent application, even though SCOTUS deems many of those patents too abstract to be patentable (patent lawyers don't quite agree).

Carl Erickson, the “co-founder and president of Atomic Object, a software design and development company founded in 2001,” (based on his introduction) says that “Investors in software startups need to understand that such companies are unlikely to have strong IP protection through patents. Instead, investors should look for evidence of engaged, delighted users, significant market share or the potential for rapid growth, exclusive relationships or special market channels. For a software startup and their investors, these will beat patent pending, any day.”

His whole analysis, however, sometimes (in the text) claims that patents too are needed, with phrases such as:

As I wrote in my last post, protecting your intellectual property isn’t just about patents. It’s important for companies to ensure they own the copyright on their software.

Copyright protects a particular expression, patents protect an idea. The nature of software is such that an idea can be implemented in many different ways, in many different languages, and therefore patent protection on an idea is potentially legitimate and important. So when should you worry about a software patent?

If you’re confused by software patents, you’re not alone. While our legal and business structures will eventually adapt, technology, as usual, is moving faster, and the results aren’t always good or predictable. A recent Supreme Court decision didn’t radically alter the status quo, but reinforced a trend away from some of the sillier past decisions.

Software patents should be dragged to courts and defeated there. There is a valuable precedent now. All these FAT patent deals (Microsoft has been signing them for years) may be as valuable as estate on the Mars.

Links 7/7/2014: CentOS 7 Released, Linux 3.16 RC4

Posted in News Roundup at 4:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Lamassu Brings Rakía, a Brand-spanking-new Open Source Back-end System for their ATMs

    Lamassu which has revolutionized the in-person acquisition of Bitcoin via a streamlined thirty-second process earlier introduced a modular two-Bitcoin ATM system; has now brought in Rakía, a brand-spanking-new open source back-end system for its ATMs. The decision is aimed to continue providing A better experience for its clients.

  • Out in the Open: The Crusade To Bring More Women to Open Source

    Recent reports from Facebook and Google confirmed what we’ve known all along: the giants of tech have a diversity problem. But in the world of open source, the problem is even worse.

    According to a survey conducted last year, only about 11 percent of open source contributors are women. Meanwhile, women account for 23 percent of all computer programmers and 39.5 percent of web developers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Oculus Acquires RakNet Middleware & Open-Sources It
  • Announcing Oculus Connect, RakNet Open Source, and E3 2014 Awards

    We’re thrilled to announce Oculus Connect, a developer conference that brings together engineers, designers, and creatives from around the world to share and collaborate in the interest of creating the best virtual reality experiences possible.

  • Oculus VR acquires game-networking engine RakNet — and makes it open-source

    The company announced today that it is acquiring RakNet, which specializes in a software-development engine for connecting games across an online network. RakNet, which is also the name of the technology, enables studios to quickly add voice chat, network patching, and secure connections to their products. Oculus VR, which is building its Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, notes that thousands of indie developers and major companies like Everquest developer Sony Online Entertainment and Minecraft studio Mojang licensed the tech for their games. Oculus isn’t just purchasing RakNet, it is also making it open source, which means other developers can see the code, add to it, and use it for free.

  • Mellanox Contributes the World’s First Open Source Ethernet Switch MLAG Implementation

    Mellanox® Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MLNX), a leading supplier of high-performance, end-to-end interconnect solutions for data center servers and storage systems, today announced that Ethernet Switch MLAG functionality is now available as open source as part of the community driven Open Ethernet program. MLAG provides the ability for a host to connect to two standalone switches with a pair of load balanced bonded interfaces. Now open and freely available, the MLAG functionality allows for faster failure recovery. The open source code is available at https://github.com/open-ethernet/mlag and can be installed and run on a Linux host.

  • Open Xchange: The internet wouldn’t have happened without Linux

    Open Xchange acts as an open-source rival to Microsoft’s Office 365. With more companies moving to open source, we ask Mr Laguna if he believes that Microsoft’s proprietary system is viable.

  • Open source tool could sniff out most heavily censored websites

    Georgia Tech researchers enlist owners of websites — and website users — via Encore project

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox’s Share Falls as Chrome’s Continues to Rise

        While Mozilla was mostly in the headlines during the early part of this year for news related to Brendan Eich and for the company’s newfound focus on smartphones and Firefox OS, another piece of meaningful news regarding the company is largely being ignored: In April, Google Chrome moved past Firefox to take second place in desktop browser market share, according to web traffic stats from Net Applications.

  • Funding

    • From zero to Spark Core in two years

      As for open source, I think that the electronics world has been proprietary for a very long time, but open source is taking its hold, and will eventually play a huge role, just like it does in software. The Internet is built on open source underpinnings like GNU/Linux, and I hope that soon the hardware world will be too.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 9.3-RC3 Now Available

      The third RC build of the 9.3-RELEASE release cycle is now available on the FTP servers for the amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, powerpc64 and sparc64 architectures.

      This is expected to be the final RC build of the 9.3-RELEASE cycle.

    • FreeBSD 9.3 RC3 Released
    • FreeBSD 9.3 RC3 Released with Several Bug Fixes

      Glen Barber has announced the immediate availability for download of the third and probably the last RC (Release Candidate) version of the upcoming FreeBSD 9.3 operating system.

    • The Linux Kernel Might Use FreeBSD’s Capsicum Security Framework

      A Linux kernel developer is working on porting FreeBSD’s CAPSICUM security framework over to the Linux kernel.

      In announcing his work at the end of June that’s now being discussed amongst kernel stakeholders, David Drysdale wrote, “The last couple of versions of FreeBSD (9.x/10.x) have included the Capsicum security framework, which allows security-aware applications to sandbox themselves in a very fine-grained way. For example, OpenSSH now uses Capsicum in its FreeBSD version to restrict sshd’s credentials checking process, to reduce the chances of credential leakage. It would be good to have equivalent functionality in Linux, so I’ve been working on getting the Capsicum framework running in the kernel, and I’d appreciate some feedback/opinions on the general design approach.”

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Unifont 7.0 Update Covers The Unicode 7.0 Basic Multilingual Plane

      Following last month’s release of Unicode 7.0, the GNU Unifont project is out with an open-source glyph for each printable code point in the Unicode 7.0 Plane 0 standard.

    • Unifont 7.0.03 Released
    • Wanted: A Purpose for Open Source

      Free and open source software is a way of life for thousands of people. Yet, as we trudge the endless treadmill of release upon release, there’s one question you don’t hear much any more: where is open source heading? Or, perhaps, should it have a purpose at all?

      Not too long ago, the answer to either question was obvious. The goal was to provide a free alternative to proprietary systems. But progress got stalled at a good-enough ninety percent or so, and looks likely to stay there for the foreseeable future.

  • Licensing

    • Open source’s identity crisis

      For Karen Sandler, software freedom isn’t simply a technical matter. Nor is it a purely ideological one.

      It’s a matter of life and death.

      Sandler, Executive Director of the non-profit Software Freedom Conservancy, says software freedom became personal when she realized her pacemaker/defibrillator was running code she couldn’t analyze. For nearly a decade—first at the Software Feedom Law Center, then at the GNOME Foundation before Conservancy—she’s been an advocate for the right to examine the software on which our lives depend.

    • IRS: Yorba Open Source Software Project Must Pay Taxes

      Should open source software projects that give their products away freely have to pay taxes? Although the answer to that question traditionally has been “no,” the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may be changing its mind, if the case of the Yorba desktop Linux software project is an indication.

    • The IRS wages war on open source nonprofits
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Why OpenStack matters, celebrating four years, and more

      Interested in keeping track of what’s happening in the open source cloud? Opensource.com is your source for what’s happening right now in OpenStack, the open source cloud infrastructure project.

    • Intel Wants Open-Source Analytics

      Intel wants to drive big-data analytics toward open-source software accelerated on its processors.

      In a first step in that direction, it is working on an upgrade of its version of Hadoop that blends in features from the distribution provided by Cloudera, a leading open-source supplier of the code. Meanwhile it has already started working with customers to determine what sort of analytics apps they want on top of Hadoop and how to accelerate them on x86 chips.

    • Secure Bitcoin Hardware Wallet With Open Source Smart Card: PRISMicide Crowdfunding Campaign

      PRISMicide, the first security solution based on open source smart cards, protects the privacy of its users… starting with their Bitcoin wallet.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • North Korean and North American tensions could create the Cold War II

      These statements are reminiscent of Cold War propaganda and show how North Korea is neutralized in American eyes: North American media interprets their responses as madness.

      Even if the republic’s response to this film is threatening, they haven’t threatened war, something which The Huffington Post and several other prominent media outlets reported. The Huffington Post even quotes The Christian Science Monitor, saying that Kim himself threatens “all-out war” upon release of the movie, though there aren’t any sources cited to prove this.

    • DHS’s Risky Airport Alerts

      When DHS releases details to the worried public, it also releases them to jihadists.

    • Blackwater’s Death Machine

      I’m sorry Moniem and fellow Iraqis participate in this farce. They are hoodwinked. There will be no justice, merely damage control. And what of countless other unjustified killings, which will not even see the semblance of prosecution? Blackwater on one hand, Obama, with his hit list and targeted assassination on the other, and in between, CIA-JSOC paramilitary operations geared to regime change, together constitute the package of Obama’s liberal humanitarianism, bringing democracy to the ignorant at gunpoint.

    • UK Trains Nigerian Security Forces on Crisis Response Strategies

      The United Kingdom Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBR) has trained the Nigerian security forces on crisis response strategies.

    • Editorial:New rules needed for use of drones

      Thirteen months ago, during a speech at the National Defense University, President Barack Obama promised greater transparency and new guidelines for drone use as part of his counterterrorism strategy.

      So much for promises.

      An authoritative, bipartisan report released recently by the Stimson Center charged that the U.S. use of drones threatens to destabilize legal and moral norms worldwide. It also chastised the Obama administration’s failure to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of drone use and questioned drones’ effectiveness.

    • Reining In the Drones

      Targeted killings by drones may be justified at times against terrorist threats to the United States, but the “blow back” from unintended civilian killings in places like Pakistan and Yemen is becoming “a potent recruiting tool for terrorist organizations,” the report noted. The panel, which had experienced specialists from the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations, concluded that there was no indication that drone attacks on suspected terrorists had advanced “long-term U.S. security interests.”

    • Israel Air Strikes Kill Seven Gaza Militants
    • Five Gaza militants killed by Israel drones: medics
    • Six Israelis held over ‘revenge’ killing of Palestinian teen

      Israel has arrested a group of Jewish extremists suspected of kidnapping and murdering a Palestinian teenager in a revenge killing, triggering violent clashes spreading from east Jerusalem throughout Israel.

      Tensions were already peaking early Monday in the south after two Israeli strikes on Gaza left five militants dead, following continuous mortar and rocket fire at southern Israel.

    • Two Palestinians killed by Israeli drone in Gaza
    • Another two Gazans killed by Israeli drone
    • Israel launches deadly airstrikes in Gaza
    • Nine Palestinian killed after Israeli deadly attacks
    • Israel’s Lieberman and Netanyahu to end political deal: Reports

      Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is gearing up to dissolve the Likud-Beitrinu ruling partnership in Israel, local media reported on Monday.

      Lieberman is scheduled to hold a press conference at 12pm local time (10am GMT) at which he is widely expected to officially terminate the political deal.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • WikiLeaks, Bringing The First Amendment To The World
    • Two Years Later, WikiLeaks’ Assange Still Pushing For Freedom, Transparency

      While Americans celebrated the adoption of the Declaration of Independence over the weekend, there were people around the globe, including in the United States, celebrating the birth of a man who is fighting for his freedom and the freedom of information: Julian Assange, who turned 43 years old on July 3.

      Widely known for his roles as co-founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Assange sought to create an organization that aligns with his belief that a transparent government reduces corruption and in turn creates a stronger democracy, which explains why WikiLeaks has released more classified intelligence documents than all other media organizations around the world combined.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • The Right to Be Forgotten

      The “right to be forgotten” in European law has now taken the place of what people in the past used to call “the forgiveness of sins”. Formerly it was believed that old offenses, especially when these did not result in prosecution or suit, were somehow effaced by the passage of time. “Long dormant claims have often more of cruelty than of justice in them”, says Halsbury’s Laws of England.

    • Google Restores Some Links To Articles Removed In ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Mess

      Last week, of course, there was a lot of attention around Google alerting publications that some of their stories had been removed from its index over “right to be forgotten” requests, following a dangerous European Court of Justice ruling. Various publications in the UK complained about some of the removals, and requested if there was any sort of appeals process. The BBC was initially told that there was no such process, though the Guardian claimed it was looking for ways to appeal.

    • Hollywood Studios Tried To Add File Sharing Sites To New Zealand’s Child Porn Blacklist

      We just wrote about the UK’s filtering systems blocking access to 20% of the world’s top 100,000 sites, even though only about 4% of those host the porn Prime Minister David Cameron seems so obsessed with blocking. Also noted in that story was the fact that many “pirate sites” are being blocked at ISP level via secret court orders.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Rulebook needed for U.S. drone strikes

      To understand why U.S. drone strikes outside traditional battlefields make so many people so uneasy, look to the past and look to the future.

      Start with the past. In 1976, exiled Chilean dissident Orlando Letelier was driving to work in Washington when a car bomb planted by Chilean agents ripped through his vehicle, killing Letelier and his young American assistant. From the viewpoint of Chile’s ruling military junta, the killing was justifiable: Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s regime considered itself at war with leftist insurgents and viewed Letelier as a security threat.

      U.S. authorities saw things differently, of course: They condemned the bombing as an assassination. The FBI opened a murder investigation, and a Senate committee launched an inquiry into illegal foreign intelligence activities on U.S. soil.

    • Sri Lanka: Hate verses in Islam’s religious text is the main cause of global Islamic issues

      Muslims the world over must introspect. There were no Americans, US State Department or CIA when the spread of Islam took place violently with the core mission to ‘kill infidels” or non-believers. Islam via sword cut across entire continents and destroyed entire civilizations. These natives did not even have time to defend against the attacks. Undeniably, the acts were not in self-defense and the use of sword were inspired by the Quran. It is these factors that raise the existential fears of non-Muslims once more. The fear of history repeating itself prevails when 95% of violent conflicts around the world involve Muslims even if these conflicts are mischievously ignited by Western Christian countries. These conflicts are drawn using Koranic verses by numerous Islamic groups. That Islamic groups/Islamic leaders uses verses from the Koran to instill mayhem and draw Muslims into their fold raises the question of how far Islam is being manipulated by Islamic leaders as well as how far the West is manipulating this weakness. That these groups have no shortage of followers and these groups are heavily funded and are able to easily manipulate moderate Muslims makes any to wonder how many Muslims are able to go against the tide without submitting themselves to their religion and those who are leading them. What needs to be said is that Muslims leaders and the West are manipulating Islam’s Koranic verses because there are verses that can be manipulated. Herein lies the core issue and root cause for the violence. With no central authority to control doctrine in Islam, a proliferation of bizarre religious edicts has resulted in chaos the world over.

    • UK airport terror measures: Passengers warned to keep mobile phones and laptops charged or lose them at security for US-bound flights

      Passengers hoping to fly to the US this summer will be turned away at airport security checkpoints if they have forgotten to put their mobile phone on to charge the night before.

    • TSA will not allow passengers with discharged cellphones onboard
    • Devices with flat batteries banned from transatlantic flights

      THE UNITED STATES Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced security measures that might cause serious problems for air travellers who forget their chargers.

    • Foreign airport scrutiny focuses on electronic devices

      Don’t bring dead phones or laptops to those overseas airports for flights heading to the USA.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Pew Report: 65 percent believe Internet will be more open in the future

      A research report published by the Pew Research Center revealed that among 1,400 experts, 65 percent believe that the Internet will be more open by the year 2025.

      The respondents hope that, more than 10 years from now, there will be no major changes that will negatively affect how people obtain and share content on the Internet.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Our single market is crying out for copyright reform

        Our duty as lawmakers is to find a balance between creators and the justified interests of society. Yet that balance is changing. Transforming technology is changing how people use and re-use information. And disrupting a longstanding legal framework.

      • Tough New Piracy Law Sees No Takers in More Than a Year

        For years Norway was pressured to do something drastic against pirates and 12 months ago this week the country introduced tough new legislation. But one year on and not a single file-sharer has been inquired about nor has a single site blocking request been filed. What’s going on in Scandinavia?

07.06.14

Links 6/7/2014: Deepin 2014, Calligra 2.8.5

Posted in News Roundup at 7:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Build the best Linux desktop

      Like all things Linux and open source, users are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a desktop environment (or DE). But this choice that many perceive as freedom, others may also see as a little bewildering and confusing.

      Right after making the soul-shaking decision of switching operating systems and installing an unknown system – by hand no less – a new Linux user is then greeted with weird sounding desktops to choose from with names like Gnome (a mini-desktop perhaps?), KDE (Isn’t that a double-glazing firm?) and Xfce (No idea). What veteran users herald as Linux’s crown jewels, to the innocent newcomer it’s like stumbling into a sci-fi convention where everyone is discussing a new TV series that you’ve never heard of but apparently it’s been around for years.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Pixman 0.32.6 Finally Updated

        The last Pixman stable release happened in November of 2013 while out this weekend is finally a new Pixman release.

        While it’s been more than a half-year since the last stable Pixman release, the changes for the new v0.32.6 release aren’t particularly compelling but still worth pointing out.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • NetworkManagerQt 0.9.8.2 is out

        Plasma NM is going to be part of kde-workspace and as you may know NMQt is a dependency for Plasma NM. Plasma 5 release is approaching and since we may not get NMQt ready for KF5 in time we decided to ship a snapshort of NMQt with kde-workspace so that Plasma NM compiles. In the future we will remove the snapshot and rely on the NMQt in KF5.

      • Final updates to section implementation
      • Calligra 2.8.5 Released

        This is the last but one update to the 2.8 series of the Calligra Suite, and Calligra Active released to fix recently found issues. The Calligra team recommends everybody to update.

        Why is 2.8.4 skipped? Shortly before 2.8.4 release we discovered bug that sneaked in 2.8.2 version and decided to skip the 2.8.4 entirely and quickly release 2.8.5 instead with a proper fix. The bug is related to not showing file formats in Save dialogs.

      • Calligra 2.8.5 Released

        The KDE Community has announced the release of Calligra 2.8.5. “This is the last (and last but one) update to the 2.8 series of the Calligra Suite, and Calligra Active released to fix recently found issues. The Calligra team recommends everybody to update,” says Jarosław Staniek of Calligra community.

      • opportunities presented by multi-process architectures
  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Challenge technology competition

        Students from tertiary institutions in seven Asian Pacific countries are invited to attend the 4th Regional Red Hat Challenge – a knowledge-based technology competition.

    • Debian Family

      • I love my MacBookAir with Debian

        I can set the display backlight to zero via software, which saves me a lot of battery life and also offers a bit of anti-spy-acroos-my-shoulder support. WLAN and bluetooth work nicely.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 17 KDE Overview & Screenshots

              Linux Mint 17 ‘Qiana’ KDE and Xfce editions were released late last month, just a few weeks after the main editions (Cinnamon and MATE) were put out. This release will have the same lifespan as the distribution which is based on, Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, so it will be supported until 2019, for no less than five years.

            • Deepin 2014 Release——Hold Your Dream and Move Forward

              Linux Deepin Project has been officially renamed as “Deepin Project”.

            • Deepin 2014 Linux Distribution Released

              Deepin Linux 2014 is now available as the popular Chinese-developed derivative to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS that features its own lightweight desktop powered using HTML5 and Go with Compiz. The updated desktop in Deepin 2014 is called Deepin Desktop Environment 2.0.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux Foundation introduces Linux for cars

      The connected car is shifting into high gear, and the Linux Foundation wants an open-source platform in the pole position. The non-profit consortium recently announced the debut of Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a customizable, open-source automotive software stack with Linux at its core.

    • Linux OS Gets New In-Car Interface: ‘Automotive Grade Linux’ Launched

      A common, Linux-based software platform for the ‘connected car’ is one step closer, with the release of Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) this week.

      AGL claims to be the industry’s only ‘fully open’ automotive platform, allowing carmakers to use a standardised single base upon which to build their own user experiences.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Build Android, Chrome apps from the Chromebook

          The app allows you to code through HTML, JavaScript and Dart – Google’s JavaScript-like language, so there is no Java at this time, but you do get Git support.

        • Google Now Is The Killer App For Android Wear

          In the next few months, Google will get some competition from Microsoft, Apple and a few startups in this space. For better or worse, none of them know as much about you as Google does, so it’ll be hard for them to replicate the Google Now experience. That should give Google a bit of an edge against the competition — unless the iWatch turns out to be so amazing that people will buy it even if it just shows the time and phone notifications.

        • Android Circuit: Samsung’s New Galaxy Smartphones, Android Is The Top OS In The US, And The Home Screen On The Front Line

          Taking a look back at the week in news across the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit focuses on Samsung’s new Galaxy handsets; Android tops the US market share; the Android ‘L’ changes; Google Play Services’ update for Android Wear support; Android Wear apps arrive in the Play Store; the battle for the home screen continues with Aviate; and what happens next in the smartphone world.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • The AI boss that deploys Hong Kong’s subway engineers

      Hong Kong has one of the world’s best subway systems. It has a 99.9 per cent on time record – far better than London Underground or New York’s subway. It is owned and run by MTR Corporation, which also runs systems in Stockholm, Melbourne, London and Beijing. MTR is now planning to roll out its AI overseer to the other networks it manages.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • VIDEO: Calif. officer beating woman on roadside

      A cellphone video depicting a California Highway Patrol office punching a woman along the side of a freeway Tuesday evening has the agency investigating accusations of excessive force.

    • CIA interrupts info about secret overseas nuclear project

      The Washington Post has published an exclusive report about the US National Security Agency’s surveillance activities, but withheld information of “considerable intelligence value,” including a secret overseas nuclear project.

    • Communication breakdown
    • Extend NATO’s umbrella to Montenegro and Macedonia

      In reacting to Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine, President Obama has reassured exposed NATO members Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia of firm U.S. support. But he has shown little inclination to show needed leadership by putting another integral element of NATO policy on the agenda of September’s Cardiff summit — enlargement of the alliance.

    • The Cost of Iraq War Immunity

      If Official Washington were not the corrupt and dangerous place that it is, the architects and apologists for the Iraq War would have faced stern accountability. Instead, they are still around – holding down influential jobs, making excuses and guiding the world into more wars, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

    • Ukraine’s ‘Terrorists’ Talk.

      A 41-minute documentary has been produced and is online, “Ukraine Crisis Today,” interviewing “terrorists” (as our side calls them) who have been bombed by the Ukrainian Government. We — that is, the United States — installed this Ukrainian government, on February 22nd, in a coup (falsely presented as a democracy movement, but run actually by the U.S. CIA and two Ukrainian fascist parties) against Ukraine’s democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych. The government that we installed is now bombing the areas of Ukraine where the voters had voted overwhelmingly for Yanukovych, in Ukraine’s last national election, which took place during February 2010. Our side calls the residents of the Yanukovich-supporting areas “terrorists.” Those are the people our Ukrainian regime bombs.

    • Kiev promises war against Russia?
    • NYT Dishes More Ukraine Propaganda

      The mainstream U.S. media continues to sell the American people a one-sided storyline on the Ukraine crisis as the Kiev regime celebrates a key military victory at Slovyansk, an eastern city at the center of ethnic Russian resistance to last February’s violent coup that ousted elected President Yanukovych.

    • The world’s most dangerous ideology

      Halliburton, which offers a myriad of services, including oil field work, plus construction work, benefits when countries are “bombed to the stone age,” since those same countries need to be rebuilt. Angelo Young describes the war-profiteering in Cheney’s Halliburton Made $39.5 Billion On Iraq War…

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Finance

    • 2014 Job Creation Faster in States that Raised the Minimum Wage

      At the beginning of 2014, 13 states increased their minimum wage. Of these 13 states, four passed legislation raising their minimum wage (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island). In the other nine, their minimum wage automatically increased in line with inflation at the beginning of the year (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington state).

    • It’s time to revive public ownership and the common good

      It might sound like an oxymoron, but this is a positive article about public services. So effectively has the coalition rebranded an economic crisis caused by private greed as the consequence of public ownership, that nationalisation has come to be seen as a universally discredited hangover from bad old Labour. So while current Labour is considering taking back parts of the rail network into public ownership the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, last weekend was intoning the neoliberal catechism: “I don’t want to go back to the nationalisation of the 1970s.”

  • Censorship

    • Keith Vaz criticises Home Office for losing sex abuse files

      Files which may be linked to child abuse claims seem to have been lost “on an industrial scale” at the Home Office, the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee has said.

      The Home Office has said its own review last year found that 114 potentially relevant files could not be located.

      Keith Vaz MP said it was “a huge surprise” that so much potential evidence had gone missing.

      Lord Tebbit said he hoped any review would be conducted quickly.

      Number 10 has rejected calls for an over-arching public inquiry into historical child abuse claims.

    • What Google isn’t doing with requests for search redaction

      Newspapers are now accusing Google of censoring their articles every time that a search result is being removed in relation to one of their articles. However, what the very lazy journalists are not doing is testing the search results to see if any of the key figures are likely to have gained the redaction, at least not before telling the world about it.

    • Being an annoying person is a crime now, as it should be

      A law against being annoying in public was recently approved by the British House of Commons and sent to the House of Lords, which vetoed it. This was no surprise since Lords themselves are horribly annoying, with their castles and silly titles. (For example, does “Lord Privy Seal” means what it says, which is “Lord Toilet Sea-Mammal”?)

    • Colleges are slowly taking away your First Amendment rights
    • The right to be forgotten will turn the internet into a work of fiction

      We will all die, and we will all be forgotten, in the end. I’m still unsophisticated enough to find that sad. But society seems fairly stoical about it, to say the least. These days thousands are campaigning for “the right to die” and “the right to be forgotten” as if they’re genuinely worried it might otherwise not happen.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

Bill Gates Pushed Out of States by Better Informed Teachers

Posted in Bill Gates at 6:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ravitch's book

Summary: Bill Gates’ private (for-profit) coup against public education is being impeded by people whom it negatively affects

SOME time ago it was reported in local media that Indiana had been getting out of the Bill Gates-imposed Common Core regime. Bill Gates apparently bribed not enough lawmakers, politicians, newspapers and non-profit origanisations over there. Passing taxpayers’ money to private pockets didn’t work as smoothly as expected.

According to new backlash against Gates, led by more public figures like Professor Diane Ravitch who wants Bill Gates investigated, it is “Good Riddance to Common Core Testing”, at least in some states:

Bill Gates’ money helped foist Common Core on Indiana

Indiana is no longer alone in abandoning the Common Core academic standards.

Oklahoma and South Carolina are pulling out, and North Carolina is headed for the door as well. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is taking his state out of the national standards, provoking a conflict with the state’s education superintendent and causing uncertainty about state testing in the fall.

Bill Gates is hardly any different from the Kochs. He has better marketing and he buys more media outlets than the Kochs, at the cost of around one million dollars per day. He does all this abusive lobbying while he keeps pretending to do charity (he hoards billions of additional dollars at times of recession), using heavy PR and bribed press. For people among world’s top 10 for wealth, the cost of bribing lots of papers and officials is by far outweighed by the profit this generates and Gates has been an incredibly useful example of this.

Here is a new and rather long article that covers some of the angles we have talked about before (although we may not agree with everything it says):

COMMON CORE WILL MAKE BILL GATES RICHER

[...]

Common Core will be used for “data mining.” In May 2012 Charles Scaliger wrote in The New American that “in the sagebrush desert of Bluffdale, Utah, in the shadow of the Wasatch mountains, a vast new federal surveillance and intelligence processing center is being erected. The so-called Utah Data Center, operated by the National Security Agency, will occupy more than a million square feet when it becomes operational sometimes next year.

Coincidentally this Data Center was completed in 2013 about the same time Common Core was being promoted by such organizations as the National Governors Association (which helps state governments get federal grants) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (which claims to provide leadership, advocacy and technical assistance on major educational issues) – started work on a common set of curriculum standards in English language arts and mathematics while using such deceitful words as “state led” and “voluntary.”

Thankfully, a lot of people now realise that not only in the education sector is Gates doing great harm. Former managers from Microsoft link to our articles about Gates, perhaps realising what was inconvenient to believe when Microsoft paid their salary.

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