Bonum Certa Men Certa


[Please note this bio is about a decade or more out of date.]

Dr. Roy Schestowitz is a qualified Software Engineer, interdisciplinary researcher, and an advocate of fair competition; holds a doctoral degree in Medical Biophysics. Wiki user "Schestowitz" is also Roy Schestowitz, the benevolent moderator. Nothing but spam ever gets moderated here.

I identify myself as a programmer (or developer) who chose to engage in activism which is necessary to defend the practice of programming from software patenting and restrictions that are inherent in proprietary software. I've developed GPL-licensed programs but never developed any non-Free software. I also do research in computer vision, which involves programming. I prefer to be seen as a researcher/developer/hacker (benign, not malicious). It would not be possible to update my profile to always reflect on the latest activities I am up to, but I include a picture of me in 2010 (the enclosed photo from London) and my research interests that I explore at the moment are as follows (in order of relevance): Principal Component Analysis, Biomedical image interpretation, Three-dimensional modeling.

I was publishing in academic journals and writing for Datamation a lot more in the past. I stopped submitting papers in 2006 because this medium is dying and stopped writing news articles in 2007 as editorial control and advertisers limited my freedom of expression. At the time, I published my inventions and wrote columns. I currently prefer to write where I can control the presentation. The audience is large enough to permit independence and facilitate free speech.

If one looks back at my history on the Web (I build my first public Web site at age 15), one will find that I am a strong proponent of rights, freedom, sharing (as in research), and GNU/Linux. My code and research have always been as open as they can be. I used to strongly advocate Novell after they bought SuSE (and until they signed the deal with Microsoft).

We are sometimes asked about the purpose of the Boycott Novell Web site and people's roles in it. I currently run the Web site and manage its various parts (see the Web site's History | history).

The story goes back to 2006. I was a long-time SuSE user (exclusively at home and at work) who -- along with others -- tried to have the deal revoked at the beginning of November 2006. Failing that, I felt it was needed it protest due to foresight that the deal would be harmful to Free software as a whole (which it has). I was not alone. Other Web sites were created to protest against the deal, but they were never properly maintained or expanded.

Boycott Novell was named and created by Shane Coyle because of Novell's position as working with Microsoft in various partnerships as part of the patent deal. By approaching Microsoft with a patent portfolio, Novell began a string of deals that revolve around software patents and jeopardise the Free software movement. The scope of the Web site has been extended since then because Microsoft uses Novell as a bridge through which to embrace and extend "Open Source" as well. Boycott Novell strives to look beyond the PR.

There are many characterisations out there whose sole purpose is to daemonise me and to have people look away from my writings. It's so much easier than refutation of the writings. Some of the smears come from Novell employees, although anonymously.

I have great confidence in people's judgment and understanding of these ad hominem tactics. I have always been exceedingly polite, albeit very direct too. I adamantly believe that excessive restraint (and fear) has prevented a lot of potentially good reporting from reaching public awareness. Intimidation is often used against those who step in a scandal, so I decided to accept the risk.

To drop me a line in real time, come join the IRC channel. We are a friendly bunch.